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PAYMENT OF PURCHASE PRICE WITH DELIVERY OF POSSESSION CAN OUST SUBSEQUENT ANY CONVEYANCE

Dictum

I think the most devastating evidence to the case of the respondent is that the 2nd respondent handed over the keys of the premises to him and put him in possession. Payment of purchase price coupled with delivery of possession can oust any subsequent conveyance of the legal estate to any subsequent purchaser. A diligent purchaser will certainly find out that there is someone in possession and be served with notice of his interest.

— Obaseki, JSC. Osagie v. Oyeyinka & Anor. (1987) – SC.194/1985

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SEVEN LANDLORDS MUST NOT NEED OCCUPATION

Why must the seven landlords who were the plaintiffs in the case need the occupation of the single ground floor flat before they can recover possession of the flat. If that is the law, it is a law devoid of human face, human reason and common sense. I shall not project such a law.

– Ubaezonu JCA. Coker v. Adetayo (1992)

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REVERSIONARY INTEREST CANNOT BE SOLD WHEN ANOTHER IS IN POSSESSION

It appears to me to be the law that a reversioner, such as the 2nd respondent, cannot sell his reversionary interest, that is his particular estate, as fee simple while another person is in possession of the land. He must first either first recover possession from that other person in possession or sell his reversionary interest subject to that person’s possession. For what the reversioner has in such a case is the freehold reversion subject to the possession in another person and not a fee simple absolute free from incumberances. It must be noted that interests in land, whether legal or equitable, are carved out as it were on a plane of time. Any holder of a particular interest or estate who attempts to sell more than the quantum of his estate will be caught by the maxim: nemo dat quod non habet (no one can give or sell what he has not).

– Nnaemeka-agu, JSC. Ude v. Nwara (1993)

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PLAINTIFF SHOULD SHOW CLEARLY AND PROOF NATURE OF HIS POSSESSION

In a plaintiff’s pleading, he is required to show clearly and prove the nature of the possession which he is relying upon to sustain his action in trespass, that is whether he is relying on bare possession or on his possession or right to possession based on his title to the land. The rule of audi alteram partem, which is incorporated in our rules of pleadings postulates that a man must know the nature of the case which he is to meet in court. This is also a clear implication of the constitutional provision of fair hearing guaranteed by section 33 of our Constitution of 1979. As such is the case, a plaintiff cannot in his pleadings aver exclusive possession or right to possession based on title but, having failed to prove it, be allowed to succeed on bare possession.

— Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Adesanya v Otuewu (1993) – SC.217/1989

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WHERE LAND TITLE HOLDER DIVEST HIMSELF OF POSSESSION

I agree that where two persons claim possession at the same time that is the correct proposition of law as there is nothing like concurrent possession of land by two persons. If the party who has a better title has divested himself of possession in favour of a third party he has no possession which can be disturbed by mere entry and which will entitle him to sue for damages for trespass.

– Obaseki, JSC. Ekpan v. Agunu (1986)

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THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE HAS THE RIGHT TO POSSESS LAND

Firstly, the submission that the Nigeria Police Force is an integral part of ‘the Federal Executive’ with no capacity to own or possess land independently of the Federal Government is unnecessary. But more importantly, the assumption ignores the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is a creation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in much the same way as other organs of the Federal Government, such as the legislature, executive the judiciary and the armed forces of the federation, each of which, though an arm of the Government of the Federation, nonetheless, has an independent capacity and rights that do not depend on the executive arm, including the right to possess land. See sections 4 and 43; 5 and 122; 6 and part I of chapter VII; sections 194 and 197 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1979.

– Olagunju JCA. Ofodile v. COP (2000)

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PLANTING OF CROPS IS AN EFFECTIVE MEANS OF ASSERTING POSSESSION

Planting of crops on land is one of the most effective means of asserting possession of the parcel of land. The maxim is quic-quid plantatur solo, solo cedit. Whatever is fixed to the soil belongs to the soil. So long as the crops remain standing on the farm, the tenant, 5th P.W. is in exclusive possession.

– Obaseki, JSC. Ekpan v. Agunu (1986)

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