Introduction Of ‘Affidavit’ To Non-Customary Land Purchase Transaction In Nigeria (Including The FCT-Abuja: My Legal Opinion

By Hameed Ajibola Jimoh Esq.

BACKGROUND OF ARTICLE:

In land purchase transactions in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja, there have been reported cases of ‘double transfer or alienation’ of ownership or ‘interest’ in the land by the seller or vendor to the buyer or purchaser. Many a time, the vendor resells such land to different persons after receiving payments for the land from the different purchasers. Also, some persons involved in land selling or alienation (especially that there is no ownership of land in regard to lands not in rural area and which is not the subject of a deemed customary right of occupancy rather, what a purchaser purchases is the unexhausted terms of tenancy or period over the said allocated land) have been taking advantage of the unsuspecting purchaser to sell an already encumbered lands to innocent purchasers with value, notwithstanding production of purported title documents at the time of the purchase to convince the purchaser of none existence of any rival purchaser over the said land or none existence of double allocation to different individuals.  It is worrisome that immediately the innocent purchaser pays the purchase price, the supposed vendor disappears into the thin air and is at large! The Nigerian society in my humble view, cannot progress where these suspected organized fraudsters are allowed to dupe and defraud innocent and unsuspecting Nigerians.  Many a time too, where the innocent purchaser reports or files a complaint to the police or law enforcement agency of government, the vendor who has all the while been at large would appear aided by his lawyer(s) and file enforcement of fundamental rights actions with sort of interim order barring and or restraining the police from allegedly interfering in a purely civil matter- the land transaction issue. Hence, what he is saying is that the purchaser should sue his vendor in a civil court and not use the instrument of the police to compel enforcement of his alleged claims or rights to either the land or the purchase money or price. Many of such a time, the police are left with no alternative or are compelled to withdraw from the case or complaint and advise parties to settle their disputes using the civil means. Many a time, it becomes an extra cost on the purchaser who has already exhausted all his heard earned money or retirement benefits to purchase the land to now go into a long time litigation (which might rise up to the Supreme Court of Nigeria for a very long years) of which he might even die in the course of such litigation to end the dispute in court as a dead-man loses his legal right to sue upon his death. The headache for me is how would one rescue an innocent purchaser of such land from these criminal personalities that obtain money by fraudulent misrepresentation of facts unknown to the innocent purchaser? That is the objective of this paper. This paper has made a recommendation after a long-thoughts on finding solutions to this problem. This paper has recommended that an ‘affidavit’ should be introduced to the non-customary land purchase transactions in Nigeria (including the land in the FCT-Abuja). This paper believes strongly that in this way, the seller or vendor or anyone who poses as such would be careful of not stating wrong or false facts in the affidavit so as not to face the legal consequences of such misrepresentation of facts in the affidavit. This paper is also of the respectful view, that introducing affidavit to non-customary land purchase transactions in Nigeria would make for a public policy to safeguard the interest and rights of the innocent purchaser of such land. Such introduction too is with respect, not repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience and in fact, it promotes and assures good conscience of the seller or vendor. Introducing ‘affidavit’ to the land transaction would enable and empower the security and law enforcement agency to receive, investigate and prosecute any alleged suspect of such alleged criminal offence relating to false deposition in the affidavit. It would also rest the case from being a ‘business as usual!’ Hence, this paper humbly recommends such introduction of the ‘affidavit’ to non-customary land purchase transaction in Nigeria (including lands in the FCT-Abuja) and it is my humble believe that this act would save a number of innocent purchasers of non-customary lands from any disturbance over their acquired land with their hard-earned money and would restrict and or restrain and or prohibit and or discourage double or multiple allocations or alienation of customary lands as evident in the contemporary non-customary land purchase transactions in Nigeria.

 

GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES ON LAND ACQUISITION AND OWNERSHIP IN NIGERIA

 

  1. NIGERIAN 1999 CONSTITUTION AS AN ENABLING LAW:

First and foremost, section 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)-herein after referred to as the Constitution- has guaranteed the right of every Nigerian to own property-moveable and or immoveable (including under custom) and has laid down the conditions for the compulsory acquisition of such right to property by the government of Nigeria-State or Federal. The said section 44 of the Constitution provides thus

‘(1) No movable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law that, among other things —

(a) requires the prompt payment of compensation therefor ; and

(b) gives, to any person claiming such compensation a right of access for the determination of his interest in the property and the amount of compensation to a court of law or tribunal or body having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as affecting any general law—

(a) for the imposition or enforcement of any tax, rate or duty ;

(b) for the imposition of penalties or forfeitures for the breach of any law, whether under civil process or after conviction for an offence.

(c) relating to leases, tenancies, mortgages, charges, bills of sale or any other rights or obligations arising out of contracts ;

(d) relating to the vesting and administration of the property of persons adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt or insolvent, of persons of unsound mind or deceased persons, and of corporate or unincorporated bodies in the course of being wound-up ;

(e) relating to the execution of judgments or orders of courts ;

(f) providing for the taking of possession of property that is in a dangerous state or is injurious to the health of human beings, plants or animals ;

(g) relating to enemy property ;

(h) relating to trusts and trustees ;

(i) relating to limitation of actions ;

(j) relating to property vested in bodies corporate directly established by any law in force in Nigeria ;

(k) relating to the temporary taking of possession of property for the purpose of any examination, investigation or enquiry ;

(l) providing for the carrying out of work on land for the purpose of soil conservation ; or

(m) subject to prompt payment of compensation for damage to buildings, economic trees or crops, providing for any authority or person to enter, survey or dig any land, or to lay, install or erect poles, cables, wires, pipes, or other conductors or structures on any land, in order to provide or maintain the supply or distribution of energy, fuel, water, sewage, telecommunication services or other public facilities or public utilities.

(3) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.’

Now therefore, in my humble submission, the acquisition of customary lands under non-customary law pre-existent of the Land Use Act, 1978-herein after referred to as LUA, was well governed by the customary law of the area where the land is situate, which is rooted in the custom and tradition of the different ethno-cultural groupings in Nigeria over a period of time. The general rule under customary law is that land belongs to the villages, communities or families with the chief or headman of the community or family as the ‘manager’ or ‘trustee’ holding the land for the use of the whole village, community or family. See; Amodu Tijani v Secretary Southern Provinces (1921) AC 399, I.O. Smith, Practical Approach to Law of Real Property in Nigeria, Ecowath Publications Limited, Lagos, Nigeria, 2nd Edition, 2007, pg.63. However, upon the enactment of the Land Use Act, lands not in rural area but urban area now vests in the Governor (or the FCT Minister who acts for the President as a delegated authority) who allocates such lands to the citizens and use same for public purpose where necessary.

 

To this extent, it is worthy of note that since the coming into force of the LUA, land whether in urban or non-urban area has (subject to the LUA) been vested in the Governor of each State to hold in trust for the people, except land vested in the Federal Government or its agencies (including the Federal Capital Territory which belongs absolutely to the Government of the Federation i.e. the Federal Government. More so that, lands belonging to the Federal Government (including lands in the FCT-Abuja) is either ‘developed’ or ‘un-developed’. See: Section 297 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999-herein after referred to as the Constitution-, section 1(3) of the Federal Capital Territory Act, Cap F6, Laws of FCT, 2007, Madu v Madu (2008) 6 NWLR (pt.1083) 296 SC.) and to be administered, managed and controlled for the common benefit of all Nigerians in accordance with the provisions of the LUA. See: Preamble to the LUA, section 1 & section 49 of the LUA.

Under the LUA, lands in Urban area is acquired by actual grant by the Governor of a State (or the FCT Minister in regard to lands in the FCT, Abuja). ‘An actual grant is naturally a grant by the Governor of a State or a Local Government whilst a deemed grant comes into existence automatically by the operation of law’. See: Per Iguh, J.S.C. (P. 36, para. D-E) in Kyari v Alkali (2001) 11 NWLR (pt. 724). However, a Governor of a State may by order published in the State Gazette, by section 3 of the LUA, designate a part of a rural or nonurban area (the subject of a customary right of occupancy) as urban area, subject to such right being revoked with notice for overriding public interest or public purpose and compensation being paid to the affected holder or occupier of the land. See: section 28 & 29 of the LUA, and section 44 of the Constitution. Also see: Olatunji v Military Governor Oyo State (1995) 5 NWLR (pt.397) 586 at 602.

I have already published an article on the Nigerian Pilot’s Law page of 13th August, 2015 with the submission that the Limitation Act, CAP 522, Laws of FCT, 2007 does not affect lands in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja See: Idundun v Okumagba (1976) 9-10 SC 227, Madu v Madu (supra), section 28 & 29 of LUA for Governor’s revocation, notice thereto for overriding public interest or public purpose and determination of compensation and section 6 of the LUA for the Local Government accordingly as well as Olatunji v Military Governor Oyo State (supra). In the above cases, especially the Idundun’s case, the Supreme Court of Nigeria laid down the five ways of establishing title to land as follows:

  1. Firstly, ownership of land may be proved by traditional evidence as has been done in the case in hand. In our view, not only was the evidence of the witnesses called by the appellants rightly rejected by the learned trial judge for good and sufficient reasons, we also think that he was right in not attach­ing any weigh to  the views expressed in the books cited in support of such traditiona1 evidence. As Lionel Brett, J.S.C. (as he then was), rightly in our view, once pointed out in a learned address given by him at the Univer­sity of Lagos to the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers:

“The courts are not to be hypnotised by the authority of print. The crucial fact is that a book cannot be cross-examined, either as to the opinion expressed, or as to the claims of the author to have special knowledge. If the author is living, there is no reason why he should not be tendered as an expert witness, when this diffi­culty would vanish.”

No evidence was adduced to show that any of these books is generally acknowledged either in Nigeria or elsewhere as a standard work or as appropriate authority on the relevant traditional history so as to enable the court to resort, with justifica­tion, to its aid. (See section 58 and 73(2) of the Evidence Act, Cap. 62 and Adedibu v. Adewoyin 13 WACA 191 at page 192). Moreover, none of the authors of these books testified in support of the views stated therein and no explanation was given for this omission. For all these reasons, we share the apprehensions of the learned trial judge about the value or weight of the traditional his­tory as narrated by each of these authors, particu­larly as the authenticity and impartiality of the sources of their narratives cannot, for obvious reasons, be easily ascertained.

  1. Secondly, ownership of land may be proved by production of documents of title which must, of course be duly authenticated in the sense that their due execution must be proved, unless they are produced from proper custody in circumstances giving rise to the presumption in favour of due execution in the case of documents twenty years old or more at the date of the contract (See section 129 of the Evidence Act and Johnson v. Lawanson (1971) 1 All N.L.R. p. 56). As the appellants’ case was not based on any document of title, this requirement, in the circumstances of this case, is not particularly apposite.

 

  • Thirdly, acts of the person (or persons) claiming the land such as selling, leasing or renting out all or part of the land, or farming on it or on a portion of it, are also evidence of owner­ship, provided the acts extend over a sufficient length of time and are numerous and positive enough as to warrant the inference that the person is the true owner (See Ekpo v. Ita 11 N.L.R. p. 68). It is clear from the judgement in the case in hand that the learned trial judge completely, and for good reason, rejected the evidence in support of the acts of’ ownership put forward by the appellants while he accepted those given by the respondents.

 

  1. Fourthly, acts of long possession and enjoy­ment of the land may also be prima  facie evidence of ownership of the particular piece or quantity of land with reference to which such acts are done (See section 45 of the Evidence Act, Cap. 62). Such acts of long possession in a claim of decla­ration of title (as distinct from a claim for tres­pass) are really a weapon more of defence than of offence; moreover under section 145 of the Evi­dence Act, while possession may raise a presumption of ownership, it does not do more and cannot stand when another proves a good title (See Da Costa v. Ikomi  (1968) 1 All N.L.R. 394 at page 398). It cannot be gainsaid that, in the present case, not only did the learned trial judge reject the appel­lants’ evidence as to possession of any portion of the land in dispute, he also found that the respondents have proved by evidence, which he accep­ted, that they are the owners of the land in dis­pute.
  1. Finally, proof of possession of connected or adjacent land, in circumstances rendering it probable that the owner of such connected or adja­cent land would, in addition, be the owner of the land in dispute, may also rank as a means of pro­ving ownership of the land in dispute. (See section 45 of the Evidence Act, Cap. 62).

Furthermore, the principle of law ‘nemo dat quod non habetno one gives what he does not have; no one transfers (a right) that he does not possess. According to this maxim, no one gives a better title to property than he himself possesses’. See Black’s Law Dictionary (op.cit) at page 1736, makes the issue of ‘affidavit’ in the land transactions very necessary, beneficial and important to protect the interests and or right of the innocent purchase of the land for value.

 

  1. PURCHASER AND THE DOCTRINE OF CAVEAT EMPTOR

It is the duty of a purchaser of land, to investigate and ascertain any encumbrance on such land in favour of any third party. The Solicitor acting on behalf of the purchaser holds these professional duties as well. See: Rule: 14(1) and (2) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2023- herein after referred to as RPC. It is submitted that Searches on the land could be conducted at the land registry or the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS, for lands in the FCT-Abuja). However, a sound of warning needs to be given to a purchaser of land and the solicitor (s) whom might be summoned and engaged by the purchaser to act on his behalf, apart from the Professional Rules guiding the solicitor to act competently and within the bounds of the law in relation to such transaction (see: Rule 14 & 15 RPC). This is summed up under the latin words ‘CAVEAT EMPTOR’, which according to the Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edition at page 236, means ‘let the buyer beware’. In fact, this includes the seller because so many people today that transact a sale of land are not aware of the legal implications under the law-especially the LUA. That is why it will be proper to say ‘CAVEAT VENDITOR’, according to the above dictionary, to mean ‘let the seller beware’. Because, as will be seen later, such illegal or void transaction may be coupled with criminal sanction on the vendor or seller and the solicitor too may be professionally liable for unprofessional conduct or for acting negligently. See: section 9 of the Legal Practitioners’ Act, LFN, L11, 2004, Rule 1, 14 & 15 RPC. Therefore, the purchaser and the vendor as well as their solicitor (s) need to beware of the implications under the LUA.

Many purchasers have purchased land in an urban area from either individuals and such individuals had happily sold such land to them without considering the validity of such transaction. And after few years from that period, dispute will ensue over who owns or who has a valid title to the land, which of course, sometimes leads to civil proceedings in court. That is why this article has been prepared to address the acquisition of such land under the LAU, as a caveat for these persons.

 

  1. NATURE OF AFFIDAVIT AS AN EVIDENCE OF THE FACTS CONTAINED THEREIN

Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, By HENRY CAMPBELL BLACK, M. A., THE PUBLISHER’S EDITORIAL STAFF, page 58, defines ‘Affidavit’ as ‘A written or printed declaration or statement of facts, made voluntarily, and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, taken before a person having authority to administer such oath or affirmation.’.

An ‘Affidavit’ is also ‘a signed and sworn or affirmed voluntary statement, made before a judge or other person authorized to administer oaths, of facts within the maker’s knowledge or of knowledge or belief he derived at stated times, place and circumstances from a stated person or persons whom he believes’. See: Andrew Chukwuemerie, THE Law and Practice of Affidavit Evidence, Lawhouse Books, Portharcourt, Nigeria, 2004, para 1.01.

Therefore, facts stated in an affidavit constitute evidence on their own. Therefore, the contents of an affidavit constitute evidence before the court. Therefore, the veracity of the facts stated in the affidavit must be ascertained before the court can accept them to be facts upon which to determine them matter. It was for this reason that section 115 of the Evidence Act, 2011-herein after referred to as EA- was introduced.

 

FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION OF FACTS IN AN AFFIDAVIT AS AN OFFENCE: THE FCT-ABUJA AS A CASE STUDY

Section 311 and 312 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of FCT-Abuja, 2007 (though, the appropriate laws of each of the States of the Federation should be replaced with this Penal Code). Provides for: Criminal Breach of Trust and the punishment thereto. Section 311 provides thus

‘Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged or of any legal contract express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of such trust, or willfully suffers any other person so to do, commits criminal breach of trust’. By section 312, ‘whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine or with both’.

Also, by section 156 of the Penal Code Act, provides that

‘Whoever, being legally bound by an oath or by any express provision of law to state the truth or being bound by law to make a declaration upon any subject, makes any statement, verbally or otherwise, which is false in a material particular and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, is said to give false evidence’. Section 157 of the Penal Code Act, provides for fabricating false evidence.

Section 158 of the Penal Code Act, provides for the punishment for false evidence thus

 ‘(1) Whoever intentionally gives false evidence in any stage of a judicial proceeding or fabricates false evidence for the purpose of its being used in any stage of a judicial proceeding shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years and shall also be liable to fine. (2) Whoever intentionally gives or fabricates false evidence in any other case, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine’. Also using evidence known to be false is punishable in same manner as if the person gave or fabricated false evidence. See: section 161 of the Penal Code Act. Also, issuing or signing any certificate required by law to be given or signed or relating to any fact of which such certificate is legally admissible in evidence knowing or believing that such certificate is false in any material point, is punishable in the same manner as if the person gave false evidence. See: section 163 of the Penal Code Act.

Furthermore, section 164 of the Penal Code Act, provides for false statement in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence thus

‘(1) Whoever in any declaration made or subscribed by him, which declaration any court of justice or any public servant or other person is bound or authorized by law to receive as evidence of any fact, makes any statement, which is false and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, touching any point material to the object for which the declaration is made or used, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false evidence.

(2) Whoever uses or attempts to use as true any such declaration knowing the same to be false in any material point, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false’.

Therefore, in my humble view, the punishment for giving false statement in an affidavit by the vendor to the purchaser in an affidavit under the non-customary land purchase transaction is enough to make him criminally responsible or liable. Upon a report to the law enforcement agency or police, the ‘affidavit’ whose facts or contents are false would be an evidence to be used against the vendor in case of double or multiple alienation or selling of the same portion of land. Hence, the vendor would wish to think twice before making a false statement in the affidavit. In my humble submission, the affidavit could be made in any court of law (and not restricted to Area Court or Customary Court or a High Court) and could made before a Notary Public. Also, the introduction of the affidavit to non-customary land purchase transaction is for ‘public policy’. More so, in my humble submission, there is no law that prohibits the introduction of ‘affidavit’ to non-customary land purchase transaction in Nigeria (including the FCT-Abuja). This is more so because there is a cardinal principle of law that ‘What is not prohibited is permitted’. See: ANYAEBOSI VS. R.T. BRISCOE LTD. (1987) 3 NWLR (Pt. 59) 108, the apex court, aptly held, inter alia thus: “It is important to state that a computerized account …. does not fall into the category of evidence absolutely inadmissible by law. In my opinion, it falls within the category of evidence admissible…’. Also, in the case of Dankwambo V Abubakar (2015) LPELR-25716 (SC) the Supreme Court of Nigeria held thus “It is a cardinal principle of law that what is not expressly forbidden, is permitted.” Also, in the case of THEOPHILUS V FRN (2012) LPELR-9846 their Law Lords held that: “the basic canon of interpretation or construction of statutory provisions remains that what is not expressly prohibited by a statute is impliedly permitted…it is not within the court’s interpretative jurisdiction or powers to construe a statute to mean what it does not mean, nor to construe it not to mean what it means…’. Wikipedia online also states this principle as an English law or common law principle thus ‘Everything which is not forbidden is allowed” is a legal maxim. It is the concept that any action can be taken unless there is a law against it. Slynn, Gordon; Andenæs, Mads Tønnesson; Fairgrieve, Duncan (2000), Judicial review in international perspective, Kluwer Law International, p. 256, ISBN 9789041113788. Glanville Williams, “The Concept of Legal Liberty”, Columbia Law Review 56 (1956): 1729. Cited in Dimitry Kochenov (2019), Citizenship, ISBN 9780262537797, p. 159. It is also known in some situations as the “general power of competence” whereby the body or person being regulated is acknowledged to have competent judgement of their scope of action. A cartoon in Hugo Gernsback’s Electrical Experimenter lampooning proposed regulations to make radio a monopoly of the US Navy. The opposite principle “everything which is not allowed is forbidden” states that an action can only be taken if it is specifically allowed. A senior English judge, Sir John Laws, stated the principles as: “For the individual citizen, everything which is not forbidden is allowed; but for public bodies, and notably government, everything which is not allowed is forbidden.” Laws, John (October 2, 2017). “The Rule of Law: The Presumption of Liberty and Justice”. Judicial Review. 22 (4): 365–373. doi:10.1080/10854681.2017.1407068. S2CID 158167115 – via Taylor and Francis+NEJM. (Underlining is mine for emphasis). Legal philosopher Ota Weinberger put it this way: ” In a closed system in which all obligations are stated explicitly the following inference rules are valid: (XI) Everything which is not forbidden is allowed”. Weinberger, Ota (October 29, 1988). “The Role of Rules”. Ratio Juris. 1 (3): 224–240. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9337.1988.tb00016.x – via Wiley Online Library.’.

 

  1. IMPORTANCE OF INTRODUCTION OF AFFIDAVIT TO NON-CUSTOMARY LAND PURCHASE TRANSACTIONS IN NIGERIA (INCLUDING THE FCT-ABUJA)
  2. It is to hold the seller responsible and criminally liable to the buyer where the land is encumbered or in case of double allocation or alienation or double selling or in case of breach of trust or lie or fraudulent misrepresentation of facts made to the purchaser of such non-customary land. To this end, the ‘affidavit’ can be introduced at the ‘Contract of Sale’ stage where the vendor is requested by the purchaser to take the affidavit already prepared by the purchaser’s solicitor to any court and depose, then, return same back to the purchaser as a guaranty and warranty that grants him confidence to enter into the transaction before parting away with any of his money. So, there would already be a bad signal to the purchaser where the vendor refuses to depose to such an affidavit or is reluctant to do same, that something is likely wrong with the intended land transaction. So, the purchaser at that stage, has a choice to seek another vendor for his interest.
  3. It makes non-customary land transaction free of breach of trust and falsehood.
  4. The society will be saved and protected from risks usually associated with non-customary land purchase transactions.
  5. Though, ‘affidavit’ is not yet recognized in land purchase transactions in Nigeria (including the FCT-Abuja), the introduction of it (as novel as it is) would make such transaction free of fraud for public policy or public safety and the protection of the constitutional right of ownership of the innocent purchaser’s property.
  6. There is no law that prohibits the introduction of affidavit to non-customary land purchase transaction in Nigeria (including the FCT-Abuja). In fact, our criminal laws are to protect the society from unscrupulous persons or fraudsters.
  7. The introduction of affidavit to non-customary land purchase transaction would make the tasks of investigation of the security and law enforcement agency of government to be easy since there is a documentary affidavit against the seller which cannot be denied by the seller as it is presumed genuine by law. Also, the issue of approaching a court of law to obtain restraining order against the police to stay away from interfering with purely civil matter in the land purchase transaction will have come to rest.
  8. The seller becomes criminally liable for: breach of trust; obtaining money by false pretense; perjury; deceiving a public officer in his official duty.
  9. The offence becomes a strict liability upon the affidavit presented against the seller.
  10. The seller if found guilty of the offences or offence, risks being sentenced to terms of imprisonment inclusive of fine which would always make the seller to always be cautious before breaching the law.

 

  1. FACTS OR PARTICULARS TO BE STATED IN THE AFFIDAVIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CUSTOMARY LAND PURCHASE TRANSACTIONS IN NIGERIA
  2. Names, occupation, and addresses of the vendor and the purchaser and the vendor’s phone number and email address.
  3. Description of the property.
  4. Abstract/Verifiable facts as to history of title or history of the land.
  5. Capacity of the Vendor/Assignor i.e. whether as ‘beneficial owner’, mortgagee, trustee, personal representative, etc. and a declaration and or deposition that he has a right to sell in that capacity.
  6. Quantum of interest to be transferred.
  7. The fact that the said property is not encumbered and that the land is not a subject of litigation in court or of any controversy).
  8. The fact that the vendor (and or the vendor’s agent(s) or privy or heir or assignor) had not sold or transferred and or mortgaged and or alienated and or Willed and or gifted, let, or otherwise howsoever or etc., the said property to any other person prior to the present purchaser and would not resell or transfer and or mortgage and or alienate and or Will and or gift, let, or otherwise howsoever, or etc., the same property to any other person other than the present purchaser upon the consideration of the land being paid by the purchaser in full and receipted by the vendor and or the vendor’s agent(s) or privy or heir or assignor.
  9. Other necessary facts that are usually stated in a deed of assignment.

I also wish to recommend that all courts of law in a State and the High Courts should may have a precedent for ‘Affidavit in relation to land purchase transactions’. This is another means of revenue generation for the Court.

 

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION:

The contents of this paper in itself is enough a recommendation. I would therefore wish to conclude by stating that the content of this paper is no doubt novel in land purchase transactions requires an open assessment of same to enable necessary adoption and application. I would also be glad to know that the reader has gained at least a piece of knowledge from this paper! Below are my contacts for further engagements with me by the reader on the content of this paper.

Email: hameed_ajibola@yahoo.com     08168292549.


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