Today in Nigeria, there have been endless litigations in Nigerian court of law over land disputes. Most people have lost their land and properties to other people with better titles. The reason for this is not farfetched. Most people fail to obtain the right documents for proper ownership of land or fail to complete the process of acquiring a complete and perfect title to their land. And that is why, in the bid to achieving justice, the court will rule in the favor of any of the litigants that can prove a better title to a land or property.
In law, there is every possibility that the owner of a piece of land or property may not appear before the law as a person with a better title. The only way to avoid this is for the person claiming ownership of property to get his title properly registered in the respective land registry applicable to the State to avoid future dispute. It is, however, important to state how to prove a better title and acquire a perfect title.
HOW TO PROVE A BETTER TITLE
In the popular case of ELEGUSHI V OSENI (2005) 14 NWLR (PT 945) AT 348 the Supreme Court stated the five types of legal land ownership in Nigeria and they are:
- By traditional evidence.
- By production of a document of grant or title.
- By proving acts of possession and ownership extending over a sufficient length of time and are numerous and positive enough to warrant the inference that the plaintiff is an exclusive owner.
- By proving acts of long possession and enjoyment of the land; but this only raises a presumption of ownership.
- By proof of possession of connected or adjacent land in circumstances which make it probable that the owner of such adjacent or connected land is probably the owner of the land in dispute.
These instances mentioned above are ways of proving title to land and they are the only recognized ways before the Nigeria courts. Also, the most common of the ways listed above is the production of a document of grant or title. This method entails providing any of the following documents; Deed of Assignment/conveyance, a legal Mortgage, a Deed of gift and a Certificate of Occupancy.
When next you buy a land or a property, make sure you instruct your lawyer to perfect your title. Do not wait for issues to arise before perfecting the title. Maybe you have a property that you have not perfected the title, pick up your phone now and call Ibeju Lekki Lawyer on 08034869295. “Make haste while the sun set” “A stitch in time saves nine”.
You can send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with a full description of your property to get a free land assessment.