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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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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