Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, Towulade of Akinale in Ogun, has charged baales (chiefs) and other community leaders in the rural districts of Ogun to always consult traditional palaces for amicable resolution of land disputes.
The monarch gave the charge in a statement he made available to newsmen on Monday in Lagos.
He said that palaces were properly structured to resolve disputes on land matters.
He said that consulting palaces for resolution of such cases would help parties to avoid breach of the law.
Ogunleye said that the charge became imperative as land grabbing had become a punishable offence in the state.
He emphasised the position of the Egba Traditional Council on land issues and its resolve for increased enlightenment of community members on the need to be conscious of the consequences of land grabbing.
“The Ogun State Government has since 2016 signed the Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Landed Properties, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Cultism, other Anti violence and other Related Offences Law, otherwise known as land grabbing law.
“The law, already in operation, prescribes 25 years jail term or death sentence for anyone found guilty of land grabbing offences,” he said.
The monarch appealed to the Nigeria Police to help communities in peaceful resolution of conflicts, particularly, land-related conflicts.
He hoped that enforcement of the provisions in the Ogun State land grabbing laws which, he noted, was the sole prerogative of the police, would deter those with propensity for criminality, especially land-related matters.
“The baales and community leaders have brought loads of complaints about the activities of some people in concert with their natives to forcefully encroach and grab other people’s lands.
“Such characters, they alleged, often petition different police formations with fabricated narratives to implicate innocent citizens as a ploy to instigate arrests and thus pave way for them to covet other people’s lands,” he said.
He advised that land matters should be settled in palaces of traditional rulers through structured mediation and conciliation mechanism.
Edited By: Kevin Okonzua/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
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