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CERTAINTIES IN A TRUST

Dictum

I do agree the test for express trust is the existence of the three certainties set out by Chief Fagbohungbe, that is when a trust is created intentionally by the act of the settlor. There is also implied trust. This is where the legal title to property is in one person and the equitable right based on the beneficial enjoyment of the same property in another, a court of equity will from those circumstances infer an implied trust. Therefore an implied trust is a trust founded upon the unexpected, but presumed intention of the settlor. Under certainty of intention the words used must be examined to see whether the intention was to impose a trust upon the donee. The intention must also be genuine and not a stain as to where the settler did not intend the trust to be acted upon but entered into it for same ulterior motive such as deceiving creditors. Under certainty of objects, the trust must be for ascertainable beneficiaries.

– Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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CONSTRUCTIVE TRUSTS – EQUITY WILL NOT ALLOW LEGAL OWNER RETAIN BENEFICIAL INTEREST

A constructive or implied trust is the formula through which the conscience of equity finds expression. When property has been acquired in such circumstance that the holder of the legal title may not in good conscience retain the beneficial interest, equity converts him into a trustee. See Beatty v Guggenheim Exploration Co. 122 N.E 378, Black’s Law Dictionary 7th Edition, Page 1513.

— P.A. Galumje, JSC. Huebner v Aeronautical Ind. Eng. (2017) – SC.198/2006

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WHAT IS A RESULTING TRUST

Now, what is resulting trust? An implied trust or resulting trust is a trust founded upon the unexpressed intention of the settlor. One example of such a situation is where a purchased property is conveyed into the name of someone other than the purchaser or where, as in this case, a person applies for leasehold of a right of occupancy in the name of another person. The clear result of such cases is that the benefit accrues to the person who advances the money. Further, the same situation would arise even if the advancement of money is indirect, as where one party pays expenses which the other would otherwise have had to pay.

– Musdapher, JSC. Atta v. Ezeanah (2000)

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THE THREE ELEMENTS OF A TRUST

Trust involves three elements, namely:- 1. A trustee, who holds the trust property and is subject to equitable duties to deal with it for the benefit of another. 2. A beneficiary to whom the trustee owes equitable duties to deal with the trust property for his benefit. 3 Trust property, which is held by the trustee for the beneficiary. See Black’s Law Dictionary, Page 1513.

— P.A. Galumje, JSC. Huebner v Aeronautical Ind. Eng. (2017) – SC.198/2006

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CONSTRUCTIVE TRUSTS IS NOT BASED ON THE PRIOR INTENTION OF THE PARTIES

In Kotoye v Saraki (1992) NWLR (Pt. 264) 156, (1992) 11/12 SCNJ 26, this Court held that constructive trust, as in this case, imposed by equity on the ground of conscience and is not based on the prior presumed intention of the parties. See Ughtevbe v Shonowo (supra); Ibekwe v Nwosu (2011) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1251) 1 at 5 Paragraphs A-C.

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RESULTING TRUST IS TRUST IMPLICIT IN THE CONDUCT OF PARTIES

Resulting Trust is a trust that can be readily deduced as being implicit in the conduct of parties but without express intent. Black’s Law Dictionary relies on the definition of a resulting trust as made out in the case of Lifemark Corp. vs. Newit Jx. App. 14 Dist, 655 SW. 2d 310, 316 as a’ “trust that arises where a person makes or causes to be made a disposition of property under circumstances which raise an inference that he does not intend that person taking or holding that property should have the beneficial interest therein, unless inference is rebutted or the beneficial interest is otherwise effectively disposed of’.

— Pats-Acholonu, JSC. Ezennah v Atta (2004) – SC.226/2000

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RESULTING TRUST IS BASED ON THE PRESUMED INTENTION OF THE PARTY

One other expression for resulting trust is implied trust. An implied trust is one founded upon the unexpressed but presumed intention of the settlor. Such trusts are also referred to as “resulting” because the beneficial interest in the property comes back or results to the person who provided the property or to his estate.

— N. Tobi, JSC. Ezennah v Atta (2004) – SC.226/2000

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