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CLEAR UNAMBIGUOUS OPERATIVE PART CANNOT BE CONTROLLED BY THE RECITAL

Dictum

I think Professor Kasunmu S.A.N., counsel for the appellant was right when he submitted that the Court of Appeal relied on the recital to the deed to control the operative clause in Exhibit A. It is well settled that in interpreting a deed, an unambiguous operative part cannot be controlled by the recital. The clear and unambiguous operative part must be given full expression and effect. See IRC v. Raphael (1935) AC 96, 135 Dawes v. Tredwell (1881) 18 Ch.D 354, 388-9.

— A.G. Karibi-Whyte, JSC. Olowosago V. Adebanjo (SC.134/86, 29 Sep 1988)

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MERE DEPOSIT OF TITLE DEEDS

It is now settled that a mere deposit of title deeds as security for a loan constitutes an equitable charge over the land or property.

– Oguntade JSC. Yaro v. Arewa CL (2007)

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DEED: INTENTION TO BE BOUND IS GOOD AS DELIVERY

Vincent v. Premo Enterprises Ltd. (supra) at p. 619 Lord Denning, M.R.: “The law as to “delivery” of a deed is of ancient date. But it is reasonably clear. A deed is very different from a contract. On a contract for the sale of land, the contract is not binding on the parties until they have exchanged their parts. But with a deed it is different. A deed is binding on the maker of it, even though the parts have not been exchanged, as long as it has been signed, sealed and delivered. “Delivery” in this connection does not mean “handed over” to the other side. It means delivered in the old legal sense, namely an act done so as to evince an intention to be bound. Even though the deed remains in the possession of the maker, or of his solicitor, he is bound by it if he has done some act evincing an intention to be bound, as by saying “I deliver this my act and deed.” He may, however, make the “delivery” conditional: in which case the deed is called an “escrow” which becomes binding when the condition is fulfilled.”

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DEED: UNAMBIGUOUS OPERATIVE PART CANNOT BE CONTROLLED BY THE RECITAL

I think Professor Kasunmu, S.A.N. counsel for the appellant was right when he submitted that the Court of Appeal relied on the recital to the deed to control the operative clause in Exhibit A. It is well settled that in interpreting a deed, an unambiguous operative part cannot be controlled by the recital. The clear and unambiguous operative part must be given full expression and effect. See I.R.C. v. Raphael (1935) A.C. 96,135 Dawes v. Tredwell (1881) 18 Ch. D. 354,388-9.

— Karibe-Whyte, JSC. Adebanjo v Olowosoga (1988) – SC 134/1986

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BENEFIT OF EARLIER REGISTRATION IN DEED

It cannot be disputed that where two competing deeds are registered, each takes effect as against the other from the date of registration and the benefit of earlier registration is preserved.

– Iguh JSC. Kayode v. Odutola (2001)

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DEPOSIT OF TITLE DEED CREATES EQUITABLE MORTGAGE

It is settled that the deposit of title deeds with a bank as security for a loan, creates an equitable mortgage as against legal mortgage which is created by deed transferring the legal estate to the mortgagee. – Chukwuma-Eneh JSC. Yaro v. Arewa CL (2007)

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DEED REGISTERED IS NOT EVIDENCE OF DELIVERY

The fact that the Deed of Lease was registered is not evidence of its delivery – see Jules V Ajani (1980) 5 S.C. 96. A.S.H.D.C. v Emekwue (1996) – SC. 282/1989

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