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|Is Obtaining Governor's Consent On Land Mandatory Or Not? by sternakin(m): 8:10am On Sep 18, 2019
IS OBTAINING GOVERNOR OR MINISTER'S CONSENT ON LAND/PROPERTY SALES TRANSACTION NECESSARY OR NOT?
The promulgation of the Land Use Decree (later the Land Use Act) in 1978 brought about the vesting of exclusive powers over land within the territory of any given State in the Governor of the State. The effect was that radical ownership of land was vested in the Governor and private persons were only entitled to a leasehold interest through a right of occupancy.
The Act further requires that the consent of the Governor has to be obtained prior to any method of alienation or assignment of property by the holder of a right of occupancy. The effect of this was that any assignment of interests or mortgages required the consent of the Governor to be legally enforceable.
Whether there was coercion or not, the law under section 22(2) of the Land use Act recognizes cases where some form of written agreement executed in evidence of a transaction is submitted to the Governor in order to obtain consent as required by the section. Therefore, for a transaction of this nature to be valid, the parties to it must first enter into a binding agreement such as deed of assignment, deed sub-lease, deed of partition, deed of mortgage and so on to alienate subject to the consent of the Governor, it is that consent that vests a valid title on the purchaser.
It is now settled on the authorities cited above, that the provision of Section 22(1) of the Act is mandatory and makes obtaining of the Governor's consent a pre-condition for the validity of any alienation of a right of occupancy under the Land Use Act, 1978.
This is so because, it is a long standing principle of law that, where a statute requires ministerial approval (minister's consent) for the sale of property, approval to enter into a contract for the sale of that property is not prohibited. What is required is approval to complete the sale; otherwise, the sale will be in valid.
Meanwhile, it is common knowledge that the Governor’s Consent is required in a transaction for the sale of land, but many people do not know the legal status of a transaction that does not have the Governor’s Consent. As a result, when they contract, parties try all kinds of tricks in a bid to avoid the time, bureaucratic and financial requirements of obtaining the Governor’s consent.
If the first person on a Virgin Land or property with a Certificate of Occupancy decides to sell his land or portion of the land/property to another person after so many years, deed of assignment is to be prepared between the first owner that has a C of O and the buyer duly executed by both parties.
Thereafter, the buyer must obtain the Consent of the Governor before the deeds can be deemed legal in the eyes of the Government. If the new buyer also decides to sell the land/property again to a third owner in future, that Third owner must also get deed of assignment between the new buyer and third party and seek a new Consent of the Governor before that transaction can be deemed legal in the eyes of the Government and the process continues every time the property changes hands to a new buyer.
In other words, the first person on a land is the only person or group of persons entitled to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.
Every subsequent buyer of that land must sign deed of assignment and get a Governor’s consent. There can only be one (1) Owner of the Certificate of Occupancy on a Land and it will not be replicated for another person once the land has been sold or transferred to another person. In the case of a developer or land owner with multiple units like six units of flats or terrace houses on a land, if such owner decides to sell the units of flats to different individuals. Separate deeds of assigment that contains registration details of the title held by the owner or developer on the land (either C of O or Registered Deed) has to be prepared between the owner/developer and each of the buyer for execution by both parties, thereafter each buyer can process Governor's Consent to make the Deeds legally acceptable and verifiable at the Land Registry.
The registered deed now becomes the title for each of the buyer on there respective flat. Also, if all the units are sold to a single buyer, deed of assignment shall also be prepared and signed by both the vendor & purchaser but in this case the original title on the land shall be passed on to the buyer and not to be retained by the vendor as in the case when sold to different individuals.
Therefore, it is very important for a purchaser of land or landed property to perfect his or her document by obtaining a Governor’s consent so as to have a complete rest of mind because if another person should obtain consent before him/her on same land, the person that the transaction has been consented by the Governor shall be regarded as the valid owner.
Although it is good to buy a land that already has a C of O or the Land has a Gazette, it still doesn’t give you the full satisfaction that you own the land without any form of fear or intrusion by land speculators. Your documents have not been perfected and the consent of the Governor to that transaction has not been obtained.
It’s because of this situation whereby the speculators knows that purchasers of land do not want to spend money to get Governor’s Consent that they will begin to resell people’s lands to multiple buyers because they know it’s only the purchaser that perfects his title by obtaining the Governors consent that can lay claim to that land validly in the eyes of the law.
That’s the more reason we encourage people who buy land/landed property to immediately start the process of obtaining Governors consent or perfecting their titles after they have bought a land and a Deed of Assignment has been drawn up. Delay has been shown to be very fatal and one should learn from the past experiences of others who have fallen victim to this situation.
Obtaining a Governors Consent from the Land Bureau isn’t the easiest thing to get quickly despite the importance attached to it and urgency needed to secure a land. On the Government website, it is stated that a Governor's Consent can be obtained within 30 days but that has proven to be very untrue due to bureaucracy at the land bureau, a Governor’s consent that naturally could end within 30 days could translate to 6months or a year depending on the strength of your consultant handling the job.
All in all, a Governor's Consent is a very good document to obtain and we advise you to get it so as to free yourself from unwanted situation 100%. An advantage of having a Governor’s consent is that you can transfer your land to another person without going back to the initial seller or Family Baale to sign your deed and Form 1c which are compulsory requirements needed before you can process Governors consent.
Land speculators pray seriously for the Owner not to have a Governors consent so that they can make a lot of money running into Thousands whenever the Owner require the signatures of the family to start the Governor's consent.
It’s even very tough now for Land Buyers because a major requirement now is that you must obtain a Governor’s consent or valid titke before you obtain a building plan approval. If it takes 6months to a year before they get their Consent. When will the person now get his approval?
Stepping aside the criticism of those in charge of processing the C of O, You should try as much as possible to get a Governors Consent for all your genuine land so as to completely live a straight forward life devoid of trouble.
The Features of Governors Consent must contain the Following:
The Form 1c must be signed by the purchaser and vendor that has either a Gazette or Global C/O or in the case of an Individual that has a private C of O granted to him by the Governor.
A Deed of Assignment must be prepared by the Buyer's lawyer who must include signatures of the parties to the transaction, the cost of the land, size of the land description of the land, the copy of the survey attached to it and signature of witnesses to the transaction.
The Consent will be heavily stamped from the beginning to the end and upon completion and payment of the requisite fees, the Governor or his representatives such as the Commissioners will sign and date the Consent and stamp it with their official Seal.
The land bureau after that will assign a Consent number to that document for reference purpose for life and it’s with this Consent number, your documents will be registered and recorded in their archives for future references.
Documents required for processing Governor's Consent:
1. Completed & duly executed application form
for statutory right(Form 1c).
2. Certified True Copy of grantor's title (seller's
title on the land/property).
3 Grantor's Tax certificate or evidence of
4. Grantees' Tax certificate or evidence of
5. Three (3) copies of duly executed Deed of
Assignment, Sublease or Mortgage.
6 Chartable survey plan (registered).
7. Evidence of payments for Charting,
Endorsement & Form 1c.
8. Evidence of payment for ground rent.
9. Site photograph showing adjoining
properties with date & time taken.
10. Letter of Confirmation of payment for
capital contribution if the land is within a
government scheme such as Lekki phase
1, Lekki 2, Isheri North etc.
11. Evidence of payment for development levy.
For further information on this consent or any land related matter with a view to engaging our service(s) to perfect that land document you have kept for a long time, you may contact us by +2348117949689, +234802296562 (direct line)or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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