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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LEGAL GUIDE ON BUYING OF LAND IN VILLAGES (CUSTOMARY LAND)

All lands in Nigeria is vestedon the 36 States’ Governors across Nigeria aside those lands own by Federal Government and her agencies. Local Government Chairmen have vestments of land in local government (non-urban areas).  A Governor of astate as well as a local government can lease out to individuals (21 years old and above) or companies or incorporated trustees for a certain term (usually 99 years). Upon the approval of either the governor or local government (as the case may be) the person or registered company to whomgovernment had leased a land to, can subsequentlysub-lease, transfer, alienate, mortgage and vest such upon another person, registered company or trustee. Land can be sold and bought in Nigeria either through customary law or statutory law.  Below is a guideon acquiring land in villages throughcustomary method.   

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