DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 174)
“Legal Practitioners Cannot Sell Land In Nigeria.”

Practise of law is for legal practitioners alone. A legal practitioner is a lawyer that has been called to the Nigerian Bar. Legal practitioners are bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct For legal Practitioners 2007. Among the provisions of the said Rule, is that legal practitioners cannot engage in any other profession. The survey, valuation and sell of land is for another profession (Estate Surveyors and Valuers), hence no legal practitioner can combine such profession with law practise. Note, that a lawyer can work as “Transaction Adviser” as well as “Due Diligence and Compliance Expert” for any land transaction but cannot be a mere land agent, jobber and estate manager.

My authorities are Rule 7 of Rules of Professional Conduct For Legal Practitioners 2007 and the Judgement In NBA V. IBEBUNJO (2013) 18 NWLR (PT. 1386)

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***This is the writer’s view not a legal advice and does not create any form of relationship. ***

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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 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 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 96)
“‘Mr. & Mrs. Xyz’ Cannot buy Landed Property in Nigeria”.

Only human beings of 21 years and above as well as corporate beings can buy, own, sell and transact on lands in Nigerian. Hence, “Mr. & Mrs. Whoever Somebody” are not legally recognised beings that can own land, transact on them, sue or be sued. To avoid illegality, it is better done in full names of husband or wife or both as separate beings.

See 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 62)

Although State High Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to entertain cases of land disputes and none payment of compensation, there is NO court in Nigeria that has power and jurisdiction to entertain any case on adequacy of compensation to be paid or paid over a compulsorily acquired land by government.

See, Sections 39 and 47 of Land Use Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 61)

Although all lands in a state belongs to the Governor of such state, government cannot compulsorily acquire a land for overriding public interest without first issuing a valid Notice to the holder of right of occupancy of such land.

See, Section 28 (4) of Land Use Act.

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The most popular document in land transactions in Nigeria is“Power of Attorney”. Purchasers and sellers of land have given more powers than the law provided for to power of attorney. Power of attorney is merely a document which authorises a person to act for another as an agent. It is a document of delegation. In it, an owner of a right, power or title can transfer his rights to another person to exercise for him. The owner of the right is referred to as “Donor” while the person to whom it is donated to is referred to as a “donee”/ “attorney”. A power of attorney can be with or without a seal (a red wax or rubber sticker and the words “signed, sealed and delivered”).

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