DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 163)
“Foreigners Can Fully Own Companies and Businesses In Nigeria Without A Nigerian.”

Foreigners are allowed by law to own companies and businesses in any part of Nigeria. They can fully own such companies without a Nigerian as a director or shareholder. And they can own any asset and property across Nigeria.

My authorities are sections 18 and 54, of Companies and Allied Matters Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 162)
“You Cannot Own Land In Nigeria.”

All lands in Nigeria, including your ancestral homes are vested on the 36 States Governors and the Federal Government of Nigeria. Hence, No person can own any land in Nigeria. At best, a person can be granted a Right of Occupancy and issued a Certificate of Occupancy for a specified period, often 99 years. Such a person is an Occupant and not Owner of the land and as such expected to pay Rent (Ground Rent) to the land owner(state government).

My authority are sections 1, 5, 10, 15,17 and 28 of the Land Use Act, 1978.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 159)
“Unlike A Company, A Business Name Cannot Own Land In Nigeria”.

Like a human being, a company is a corporate being that can own property, sue and be sued. A business name is neither a human being nor a corporate being that can own, acquire, maintain and sell a land or landed property in any part of Nigeria.

My authority is section 37 of Companies and Allied Matters Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 145)
“Power Of Attorney Can Not Transfer Ownership/Title Of A Property”

Power of Attorney is an instrument that merely delegates, extends and offers limited powers to a person to do something. It cannot and does not transfer, vest, confer or alienate the title and ownership of its Donor. It is wrong to use or have only a power of attorney as prove of ownership of title. Though some states allow the registration of power of attorney, it is actually registered as an instrument allowing and authorising execution of another instrument for alienation, sale and transfer of ownership. So, Deed of Sale, Deed Of Assignment, Deed Of Conveyance and Deed Of Transfer are better options.

My authorities are section 2 of Land Instruments Registration Law, Vol. 3, Laws Of Ogun State, 2006 and similar laws in other states of the Federation as well as the cases of Ude V. Nwara (1993)2 NWLR Part 278, 647 and Olorunfemi V. Nigeria Educational Bank Limited (2003) NWLR Part 812,p.1.


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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 137)
“IT IS AN OFFENCE FOR A NON-LAWYER TO PREPARE A LAND OR TENANCY AGREEMENT IN NIGERIA”.

In Nigeria, only Lawyers are authorised to make, prepare and write land and tenancy agreements of any type for a fee. Hence, no other group, society, business, cyber cafe, person or profession is allowed to prepare land or tenancy agreements in Nigeria. It is an offence punishable with imprisonment and or fine for a non-lawyer to prepare a land agreement for a fee in Nigeria.

My authority; section 22 (1)(d) of Legal Practitioners Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 128)
“What is Ground Rent, Who Should Pay and Who Should Collect It”.

GROUND RENT is tax charged and collected by a State Government on a land (both developed or undeveloped) having a certificate of occupancy. It is to be paid by a land owner (holder of a certificate of occupancy) within a given period. Ground Rent calculations by a state government is not affected by improvements, developments and structures built on land. State Governor can reduce or waive ground rent on a given land for public interest.

My authorities: sections 10, 16 and 17 of the Land Use Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 122)
“Land Transactions in Nigeria Are Invalid Without Written Consent of State Governors”.

All Lands in Nigeria belong to respective state governors of the 36 states in Nigeria. Any sale, transfer, mortgage, change of title, tenancy, assignment, power of attorney or gift of land or sharing of land of a deceased person in any state in Nigeria without the written consent of the Governor of the state or his authorised appointee is invalid, null and void.

See sections 21, 22, 23, 24,25 and 26 of the Land Use Act, 1978.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 113)
“Customary Lands (Lands in Villages) Need No Written Agreements As Proof of Ownership”.

Lands owned customarily, often in villages and rural areas in Nigeria need no written agreements. Oral agreements and presence of witnesses are enough. Writing is alien to to Customary Law in Nigeria.

See Section 5(3)of the Law Reforms (Contracts) Act No.64 of 1961 and Court of Appeal Judgement in KWARI v. RAGO (2000) LPELR-11976(CA).

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 111)
“Safest Means of Jointly Acquiring Lands and Landed Property in Nigeria as a Couple”.

A couple is not a human being or juristic being or group of beings that can acquire, own and sell property in Nigeria. Where a couple forms a company, being shareholders and directors of the company, they can use the company to buy, own, manage and sell lands and landed property in any part of Nigeria. Upon the death of a spouse without a Will, the management of remaining assets are often easier too.

See sections 18 and 20 of Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Married Women Property Act 1882, the Married Women Property Law 1959, section 7 of Land Use Act, as well as the case of Lion of Africa Insurance Co. Ltd V. Mr. and Mrs. Esan (1999) 8 NWLR (Pt. 614) 197.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 65)

It is a Land Use and Allocation Committee and not any court, that has jurisdiction to entertain any dispute as to amount of compensation calculated.

See section 30 of Land Use Act.

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Hello, am glad to have your eyes on this page. On last edition I wrote on “Safest Means of Purchasing rural Land” which dwelt on the purchase of land under customary law which often occurs in our villages. I highlighted the legal requirements and steps to a successful land transaction under such law. Now is time for us to take a deep dive into land transaction under our statutory law. It is for land transactions in our towns and cities. I urge you to learn as much as you can and save yourself embarrassment.  

Can government demolish my house and take my land without compensation? Yes, government can demolish your house and take your land! Albeit, government will compensate you for all your expenditure on the land in certain circumstances.  The circumstances and steps therein will be theme of this piece.  I advise you to get a copy of the Land Use Act of 1978 from any bookshop to understand and appreciate land contracts and transactions in Nigeria, as a whole. A copy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) will also help.

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