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DEPOSIT OF TITLE DEED CREATES EQUITABLE MORTGAGE

Dictum

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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CLEAR 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 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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A MORTGAGEE MAY CHOOSE EITHER TO: ENFORCE AGAINST THE PROPERTY OR SUE FOR PAYMENT

There is no doubt, and as earlier stated, the rights of a Mortgagee as the Appellant herein against the Mortgagor, the 3rd Respondents, is cumulative in the sense that it may decide either way, whether to enforce the security against the property or sue upon the personal covenant to the Mortgagor, for payment or go for both. Yet, it must be clearly stated in the pleadings which form the creditor has chosen, to recover its money. See Megany’s Manual of the Law of Real Property, 67th Edition page 484.

— O. Ariwoola, JSC. African Intl. Bank Ltd. v Integrated Dimensional System (2012) – SC.278/2002

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FORECLOSURE IS A POWERFUL REMEDY FOR AN EQUITABLE MORTGAGE

The right to foreclosure is very powerful remedy in the hands of the equitable mortgagee and the vendor who takes a legal estate with notice of an equitable mortgage and therefore subject to this class of equitable interest should bear this in mind since, in certain circumstances, he may find in the end that he has bought a worthless legal estate.

– Idigbe JSC. Ogundiani v. Araba (1978)

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MORTGAGE DEBT SUPERSEDES EQUITABLE MORTGAGE

I have showed above that the only interest the 1st respondent in equity can deal with is the equity of redemption not the legal estate in the said property. The appellant from the very beginning of the deal with the 1st respondent over the said property has been aware i.e. acquainted with due notice of the bank loan and the mortgage of the said property to the 2nd respondent and the lodgement of the title deeds of the said property with the 2nd respondent to secure the bank loan. The appellant has had due notice that all he was negotiating was as regards the 1st respondent’s interests in the equity of redemption. And so, any purported attempt to transfer the legal estate by the mortgagor to the appellant as the 2nd relief in the claim is contending without getting rid of the mortgage debt and so, supersede the 2nd respondent’s equitable mortgage cannot be allowed in equity.

– Chukwuma-Eneh JSC. Yaro v. Arewa CL (2007)

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DEFINITION OF MORTGAGE

A mortgage is defined as creation of an interest in a property defeasible, that is, annullable upon performing the condition of paying a given sum of money with interest at a certain time. Thus, the legal consequence of the above is that the owner of the mortgaged property becomes divested of the right to dispose of it until he has secured a release of the property from the mortgagee.

— M.L. Shuaibu, JCA. FBN v Benlion (2021) – CA/C/31/2016

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A MORTGAGEE HAS A POWER OF SALE AS OF RIGHT IN THIS INSTANCE

A mortgagee, unless where a contrary intention is shown, has a power of sale provided: (a) the mortgage was made by deed; and (b) the mortgage money is due, that is the legal date for redemption has passed. Where the money is payable by installments, the power of sale arises as soon as any installment is in arrears.

– L.A. Ayanlere v. Federal Mortgage Bank of Nig. Ltd. (1998) – CA/K/186/96

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