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PROOF NOT NECESSARY WHERE IDENTITY OF LAND NOT IN DISPUTE

Dictum

It is the general principle of law that a plaintiff who claims title to land must prove the identity of the land in dispute. This is to enable the court know the exact area or acreage of the land in dispute to give him judgment if he is able to prove title. However, where the identity of the land is not in dispute or where there is enough evidence for the court to infer the identity of the land, proof is not necessary. In such a situation, the plaintiff has no burden to prove the identity of the land. Of the two ways, the easier one is when the parties agree as to the identity of the land or they do not put the identity of the land in issue.

– Niki Tobi JSC. Gbadamosi v. Dairo (2007)

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LAND: WHERE DEFENDANTS ARE UNKNOWN

In a case where the landlord does not know the names of the illegal occupiers of his land or cannot even physically identify all of them, the requirement that the persons be made defendants to the action would result in great injustice and hardship to the landlord or land owner thus giving rise to the procedure under Order 50 – Nnodi v. Thanks Investment Ltd (2005) 11 NWLR (pt 935) 29.

– Abiru, JCA. Okoli v. Gaya (2014)

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ONUS ON CLAIMANT TO ESTABLISH PRECISE BOUNDARY OF LAND

The Plaintiffs/Appellants in this case claimed a declaration, damages for trespass and an injunction. Such a claim should be tied on to a definite and specific area of land so that any enuring judgment for the plaintiffs may inform the defendants what the opinion of the court is as to the limits of their rights and not expose them in the exercise of such rights to the consequences of violating an injunction based on a plan like Ex. A which not containing precise boundaries leaves the land in dispute vague and imprecise. It is not for the Defendant/Respondent to find out what portions of Ex.A belongs to the Plaintiffs/Appellants and what portions do not. That is the first hurdle a claimant to land will clear i.e. to establish the precise area he is claiming.

– Oputa JSC. OLUFOSOYE v. OLORUNFEMI (1989)

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MEANING OF “ANY PERSON” AS USED IN SECTION 36(1) OF LAND USE ACT MEANS ANY NIGERIAN

It is my firm view therefore that the words “ANY PERSON” under section 36(1) of the Act refer to and mean ANY NIGERIAN. The Act has not abrogated any law which limits the rights of aliens to own property. I will however share the views of Omololu-Thomas, J.C.A. that any foreigner who has validly owned or occupied any land before the act is deemed to be an occupier under the act. This however must be in conformity with the definition of occupier under section 50 of the Land Use Act.

— Olatawura, JSC. Ogunola v. Eiyekole (1990) – SC.195/1987

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LAND CONTRACT MUST BE IN WRITING

Generally, a contract may be oral i.e., (by parol) or in writing. There are however some contracts which the law mandatorily imposes a written requirement for the enforceability of such contracts. One of such contracts is a contract for the sale of land.

– Amaizu, J.C.A. Adeniran v. Olagunju (2001)

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LAND WILL CONTINUE TO BE HELD BY THE PERSON IN WHOM IT IS VESTED BEFORE LAND USE ACT COMMENCEMENT

It is common ground that the land in dispute over which Exhibit B was issued in favour of the plaintiff is within the urban area of Ibadan. It is not in dispute that it is developed land within the provisions of section 5(1) of the of the Land Use Act 1978. Accordingly, pursuant to section 34(2) of the Land Use Act, the land in dispute shall continue to be held by the person in whom it was vested immediately before the commencement of the Land Use Act on the 29th March, 1978 as if such person was the holder of a statutory right of occupancy issued to him by the Governor under the Act.

— Iguh, JSC. Olohunde v. Adeyoju (2000) – SC.15/1995

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REQUIREMENT FOR VALID SALE OF LAND UNDER NATIVE LAW & CUSTOM

Under Native law and custom the requirements for a valid sale are:- (a) Payment of purchase price (b) Purchaser is let into possession by the vendor (c) In the presence of witnesses. It is not necessary to have a written contract or conveyance as under English law. Adesanya V. Aderounmu (2000) 6 SC pt.2, pg, 18, Elema V. Akeuzua (2000) 6 SC pt, 3, pg. 26.

— O.O. Adekeye, JSC. Agboola v UBA (2011) – SC.86/2003

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