The Lagos State Government says it will henceforth prosecute owners of abandoned buildings or structures used as hideouts by criminals.
A statement on Thursday said the decision was taken during the state Security Council meeting, chaired by Governor Babatunde Fashola on Wednesday.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Umaru Manko, who briefed journalists after the meeting, argued that if a landlord accommodated a criminal in his house, he should also be regarded as a criminal.
Manko said, “The council observed that despite repeated warnings, some owners of uncompleted buildings and plots of land have failed to take any action, therefore turning the property to haven for criminals.
“We have deliberated on the issue and the story is just simple. You either take responsibility for undeveloped plots or buildings so that criminals would not have a hiding place or you forfeit them.”
Manko also said the security of the state was reviewed at the meeting and the council expressed satisfaction that Lagos had made impressive progress in this area.
On the influx of people into Lagos State, Manko said Lagos was the safest state in the country.
He said, “No one can stop people from coming in; security agencies only have problems with people who come to Lagos for criminal activities.
“These criminals are being warned in their own interest to keep off the state. People who are coming for genuine business should come, Lagos is safe for them, but criminals will blame themselves if they come here.”