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|7 Land Documents You Must Know About Before Buying Land(part 2) by atunbigeoj(m): 10:20am On Sep 03, 2020|
In continuing our last article:
Number #3: GAZETTE
According to the Land Use Act all land belongs to the government so the Governor is the owner of all land even the one in your village, and he alone will determine what to do with the land not even your Igwe, Oba or Emir.
So it is only when the Governor has taken the land he want to use, that he gives the remaining to the traditional family to do whatever they want with it.
A good example is what happened at Oniru. Before now, there was nothing like Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki the whole area put together was formally known as one big community called Oniru and it has an approximate total area size of 100,000 square meters and the government was interested in that area and decided to take 70,000 square meters for itself, for its own personal use as an Urban Area or public purpose, it will record this acquisition in the official government gazette and also record that the remaining 30,000 square meters has been left alone for the traditional family to have and do with it whatever it pleases them.
So A Gazette is an Official record book where all special government details are spelt out, detailed and recorded. A Gazette will show the communities or villages that have been granted excision, the number of acres or hectares of land that the government has given to them.
It is within those excised acres or hectares that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given or excised to them.
A Gazette is a very powerful instrument.
A community owning a gazette as a land document can only sell lands to an individual within those lands that have been excised to them and the community or family head of that land has the right to sign your documents for you if you purchase lands within those excised acres or hectares of land.
If the government based on some reasons best known to them decides to revoke or acquire your land, you will be entitled to compensation as long as it’s within the Excised lands given to that community.
The best way to know whether a land is under acquisition or has an excision that has been covered by a Gazette is to get a surveyor to chart the site and take it to the surveyor general’s office to do a land information search so as to confirm whether it falls within the gazette and spell out which particular location it can be found.
The Following Are Features of a Gazette:
The first page of a Gazette must have the following unless it is a dubious or fake Gazette
a. The Logo of the Country and the inscription of the title e.g “LAGOS STATE OF NIGERIA OFFICIAL GAZETTE”
b. Underneath it must have the Number, Volume, Page, Date and the Location it was signed into law e.g No 26 in pages 200 to 291, Volume 87 dated 14th of August 2011 and have the contents of the list of the Villages, Settlements and parcels of land excised back to the community.
The Inner pages will show the following:
a. The description of the Area or Village excised
b. The number of Acres or Hectares of land excised to the Village
c. Where the boundaries of the beacons start and stop
d. The page on which the description of the Village excised can be found.
Number #4: CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a Land Document issued by the State Government to officially lease any land under the state to you (the applicant), for 99 yrs. As already indicated above, all lands belong to the Government.
A C of O however is the officially recognized Land Document for demonstrating Right to a Land. What happens after 99 years? That question is still a subject of debate among experts.
Most have adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Others postulate that as the new owner of the land, you the buyer can renew the certificate of occupancy when it expires. That makes sense, but for now it’s largely a case of “We shall see when we get there”
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