3. RIGHT TO COMPENSATION.
The law cannot allow the efforts of a landlord to go in vain, hence the law equipped him with a commensurate right that comes to birth in the event of compulsory acquisition of his land. Our grundnorm; Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides for payments of compensation to landlords in Section 44. Aside the provision in the Constitution, our Land Use Act in Section 29 equally provides for compensation of a landlord upon compulsory acquisition of his land. Take note that, a landlord is not compensated for a land itself rather for his improvements, advancements and investments on the land, like buildings, mechanical installation, drainage system, irrigation system, fence, reclamation works, economic crops and any paid land rent for the year of such acquisition.
Before compensation could be paid, evaluators from government would calculate, evaluate and fix prices to all improvements on a land, short of depreciation. A documentary evidence and proof works and investments on a land (like invoices and receipts) would aid the computation. Know you all men that no compensation can ever be paid to a landlord for an undeveloped, bare land for he has expended nothing on it!
A Compulsory acquisition of a land can never come like “Jesus Christ”, whom the Scriptures say would come like a thief in the night. There are notices, letters and reminders that must be sent by government to a landlord before a compulsory acquisition of his land. A landlord whose land is to be compulsorily acquired must receive a written notice from a duly authorised public officer on behalf of the Governor. If such notices are not served on a landlord he can legally contest the invalidity of such acquisition.