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You are here: Home ❯ ISSUES AND CHANLLENGES IN ALIENATION OF FAMILY LAND HOLDING IN NIGERIA.

ISSUES AND CHANLLENGES IN ALIENATION OF FAMILY LAND HOLDING IN NIGERIA.

 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-5

 Pages: 80   Attributes: STANDARD RESEARCH

 Amount: 3,000

 Aug 31, 2019 |  07:37 am |  2006
CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

This study will assess the issues and challenges encounter or suffer in alienation of family land by purchasers in Nigeria, particularly in Yoruba and Ibo custom since 1960 to date. The major challenge a purchaser of family land encounter is the issue of ‘consent’. It has become a general practice in Nigeria that absolute title to family land can only be transferred by the head of the family with the consent of the principal members of such family. Anything short of this will render such sale to the purchaser void or voidable notwithstanding the provisions of the Land Use Act, 1978 which has abolished all forms of ownership in the Federation and convert it to a mere Right of Occupancy. This is the focus of the research.

Family land holding in Nigeria is governed by the customary law of each ethnic group in the country. Rules governing Conveyance of family land in Nigeria is widely dispersed and uncertain. It is therefore a subject of heated debates amongst legal authors, textbooks, writers, journals, articles and case laws. The fundamental rule for alienation of family land in Nigeria is that the family head and principal members must consent to the conveyance of family property for its validity[1] otherwise such sale will be void or voidable as the case may be. Deviation from the rule in the sale of family property renders the conveyance obviously suspect and defeasible.[2] A purchaser of family property on the other hand, is entitled to assume that the vendors will in fact pass a valid and indefeasible title which they purport to have conveyed and that he (the purchaser) will be immune or free from encumbrances by adverse claims either from any member of the family or a third party relating to the property conveyed to him.

Socio-culturally, Nigeria is a polygamous society from time immemorial[3] and due to its polygamous nature it is difficult to ascertain who is the head and principal members of the family to convey a valid customary title to a purchaser. Conveyancers do have obvious problems in assembling all the relevant members of the family for alienation purposes, as they are required in a valid execution of the conveyance. The authority to sell family property is widely dispersed and uncertain particularly where no power of attorney is executed in favour of a member of the family authorizing him or her to convey the family property.

In Nigeria, a man’s son is entitled to share in his father’s property even when he is born outside wedlock and lives outside his father’s household provided his paternity is confirmed by his father by way of acknowledgement or evidence.[4] And upon a man’s death, any conveyance of his property to a third party without that son’s participation or consent will make the conveyance defeasible.[5] This is the case, even if, that son is scarcely seen and largely unknown by other members of the man’s family; he can surface at anytime to make adverse claims on the family property conveyed to the purchaser without considering his interest. The result is that the purchaser of family property ends up with purchasing a long drawn litigation and suffers damage, injury or loss as a result of a defective customary title, especially where he neglects or fails to make proper investigation before the sale. It is important to note that the Land Use Act in Nigeria has abolished communal and family land holding. The Act has thus taken justice to the individual citizen by making the individual member the basic unit of land tenure in Nigeria rather than the family as a corporate unit. This has in effect freed Nigerians from the anachronisms of what the colonial judges described as decadent family and communal land tenure system.[6]

This research is structured into six chapters, with chapter one as the general introduction. Chapter two discusses the creation and determination of family property via the Land Use Act and Customary Law in Nigeria. Chapter three present and discuss the various rights and duties of family members for alienation purposes. Chapter four carries a broad survey of drafting the conveyance of family land in regards to a deed of conveyance and how it is couched to favour a purchaser. Chapter five identifies and examines the basic rationale and implications for the abolition of family land holding under the Land Use Act; while chapter six sets out some findings, recommendations and concludes the study.

1.2        Statement of the Research Problem

The problem that necessitated the study is what purchasers encounter or suffer in alienation of family land especially our case studies on “Yoruba and Ibo Families” in Nigeria. The increasing rate of litigation by purchasers of family land in Nigeria who ends up in court due to a defective customary title obtained and at the end suffers damage, injury or loss has grave cause for concern. It is a common practice that the family head and principal members must participate and consent in the alienation of family property for its validity otherwise such sale will be void or voidable as the case may be. The issue of ‘consent’ by the head and principal members of the family particularly in polygamous marriages of most families from time immemorial and even presently has caused difficulty in locating where the authority to convey lies in alienation of family land and also the difficulty in assembling all the family members for such purposes. It is observed that excessive power is vested on the head of the family compared to the principal members of same family for such purposes. The central question is “Whether the concurrence of ‘consent’ by the head and principal members of family can resolve the issues and challenges faced by a purchaser of family land in Nigeria?” The literature is contentious and inconclusive. Conventional wisdom holds that the head and principal members must consent for a valid sale of family land.  Family land advocates contend that the consent of the head and principal members of the family is not necessary where a Power of Attorney is executed in favour of a member of the family authorizing him or her to undertake such conveyance on behalf of the family. This academic confusion compels the inquiry into the issues and challenges of alienation of family land holding in Nigeria, to ascertain the possible means in addressing the problem.

1.3       Research Questions

This study addresses the following questions:

1.      What are the issues and challenges family conveyancers face in alienation of family land?

2.      Has the issue of consent by the head and principal members in alienation of family land resolve or reduce the increasing rate of litigation by purchasers?

3.      What is the effect of the Land Use Act in respect of family land holding in Nigeria?

4.      If the answer to question 2 and 3 above is in the negative, what factors are responsible; and what can and should be done to resolve the difficulties faced by conveyancers in alienating family land in Nigeria?

1.4       Aim and Objectives of the Research

Our aim of the research is to critically examine the cause of difficulty associated with the conveyance of family property in respect of polygamous families in Nigeria. The specific objective is to critically examine the effect of abolition of family land holding under the Land Use Act and the position of the Act in respect of an individual member of the family occupying a portion(s) of family land rather than the family holding land as a corporate unit.

1.5       Research Methodology

A doctrinal approach was adopted in this study, hinged on exposition and analysis. Using the expository method of study, we disclose details of issues and challenges of alienation of family land holding in Nigeria. The analytical method is employed to determine the possible means of reducing the high rate of long drawn litigation imposed on purchasers of family land by an aggrieved member of the family. Recourse was made to primary source-materials such as statutes and case law; and secondary sources which include: textbooks, journals, articles, workshop and seminar papers, newspapers, magazines and internet materials.

1.6       Scope of the Study

This study concentrates on the effect of the Land Use Act on alienation of Family Land via the Customary Land Tenure System in Nigeria; whether the Act has actually abolish family land holding in Nigeria, and recognize a right of occupancy on an individual member of the family occupying a portion(s) of family land rather than the family holding land as a corporate unit. This work explores and is limited to alienation of family land holding: issues and challenges in Nigeria. However, where there is need to clarify concepts or draw distinctions, the research borrow from views outside Nigeria framework.

1.7       Literature Review

So much has been written about alienation of family land in Nigeria. There have similarly been a flood of judicial decisions on the various aspects of the subject. Yet the Law on some of its aspects is far from satisfactory.  The basic issue a purchaser encounters in the course of conveyance of family land is often based on the participation and consent of the family head and principal members of the family for a valid title. A family is made up of scores of members and will undoubtedly be difficult to assemble all the members of the family (more especially where it is a polygamous family) each time it is proposed to sell family land. It must be noted that the Land Use Act has abolished communal and family interest in land. Neither the family nor the community can be said to hold land under the Act. Alienation of family land in Nigeria has been a major concern to most legal writers. This is due to the problems associated with it. A Purchaser of family property who neglects or fails to make proper investigation on the implications in the purported conveyance of family land may end up with purchasing a long drawn litigation or a defective customary title. Nevertheless, references were made to textbooks, articles, etc in the course of writing this work.

Irukwu and Umezulike discussed that the major difficulty which conveyancers face relative to family property is how to ascertain who the head of the family is and who the principal members of the family are, including those born out of wedlock and living outside the family household. There are conditions for those born out of wedlock which include; acknowledgement or evidence of paternity by their father. This is necessary because any conveyance of family property made without these members living outside the family household is obviously defeasible.[7] Conveyancers do have obvious problems in assembling all the relevant members of the family for conveyancing purposes, as they are all required in a valid execution of the conveyance.[8] It is elementary law that even where a head of family conveys without the consent of the principal members, such transaction is voidable and can in fact be nullified at the suit of any member of the family.[9] The head of the family must join in deposition or alienation of family land and the principal members must concur therein and a transaction purporting to transfer family land without these essentials will be void.[10] The Nigerian family system is not simple. It is complex. Obviously its complexity has a direct bearing upon the difficulty associated with sale of family land in Nigeria.[11] This prompted the colonial judges to describe family system of land holding as anachronistic.[12] A member of a family whose interest is threatened by wrongful alienation can sue to protect his interest whether or not with consent of other members of the family. If he does not act, he may be held to have acquiesced to the wrongful act.[13] A member also has the right to live on family land and also reserve the right to go to court to urge its partition.[14] It follows therefore, that a member of family can sue to protect the interest of family property or his particular interest in it. But if he had no authority of the family, the family may not be bound by the result of the action unless for some reasons the family is stopped from denying that the action was binding.[15] The fact that a member of the family can at anytime, with or without the authority of the family sue to protect his interest in the family land makes the sale of such property obviously precarious. As such a member can pop up at anytime, after the sale to challenge same.[16]

Umezulike opines that because of these enormous joint and several rights given to members of family under customary law, it is argued that a purchaser of family property will merely hope for the best.[17] Long possession of family property does not vest title on the purchaser if the conveyance or sale was defective or voidable in the first place.[18] The saying that sale of family property is usually a challenge to purchasers, can be examined from different angles: firstly it is essentially referring to the difficulty of identifying at the conveyancing stage, all the necessary members of the family. This is because the omission of any important member of the family in the sale of family land may lead to its defeasibility. Secondly, the problem becomes even more complex and compounded where the family is a polygamous one with many wives and several children. In that case the authority and legitimacy to convey becomes more dispersed and uncertain. That is where the problem begins.[19] There is no principle of conveyance which compels the head of family having his consent to sale, to take part in the execution of the conveyance. It is however, desirable for the security of the title transferred that the head of family takes part in the execution of the conveyance. His execution of the deed is the greatest indication of his consent to the conveyance.[20] Typically the reason for reposing greater confidence on the head of family in relation to family property is because he is regarded under customary law as the living representative of all the dead elders of the family on earth. And by the wisdom bestowed by age, he is unlikely to give consent to frivolous alienation of family property.[21]

Umezulike further opines that, however, contrary to the general notion that only the head of family and the principal members can validly alienate family property, any member of the family, male or female can validly alienate family property if and only if a power of attorney is executed in his or her favour by the entire members of the family for that purpose. The said power of attorney gives that member the authority to act for the family in the sale of such family property. If the member adheres strictly to the authority conferred by the power of attorney which must be made by deed, the family must be bound by it.[22]  It has been recognized that a power of attorney under deed, to deal with family land gives authority to the donee to sell, the family will be bound by such sale. There is however the heady contention whether such power of attorney requires the consent of the Governor of a state for its validity.[23]

Smith opines that the need to ensure certainty of title and thus protect purchasers of family property from the fraudulent machination of the family has made the use of Power of Attorney inevitable. Where a Power of Attorney is executed in favour of some members of the family, only those members can deal with the land, and since the document is a registrable instrument, the purchaser simply identifies the appropriate parties to execute a deed of transfer in his favour through a search in the land registry.[24] But this is not practicable in most parts of Nigeria and really needs to be dealt with. He further argued that the family head is required to execute the Power of Attorney as one of the donors notwithstanding that he is one of the donees or the sole done.[25]

Where the members of a family donate or execute a Power of Attorney to some members of the family to manage and deal with all the land owned, possessed and controlled by the family, the Power of Attorney supersedes the right of any individual member of the family to deal with the land. The consent of the head or principal members of the family is no longer necessary for any alienation of the family land made pursuant to the Power of Attorney granted by the family because the donation of the Power of Attorney has overridden the rights of individual members of the family over the land in dispute.[26]

It is further argued that consent requirement must be that of an adult. Thus, where all the principal members are minors, the head of the family cannot alienate the family property otherwise, he conveys a voidable title which may be set aside by any minors upon the attainment of maturity. But minors may give consent through persons appointed as guardian or otherwise standing in loco parentis. The rule that disposition by the family head without the consent of the principal members is voidable is subject to three important qualifications:

i. The rule applies only where the family head has acted as such so that where he alienated the land as his own e.g. where he described himself in the conveyance as a ‘beneficial owner’ of the land, the sale will be void.[27] It may be necessary for the court to ascertain whether the head of the family acted fraudulently. For example where the head of family conveyed family property as his own and there was evidence that he was in fact acting in his capacity as family head, the court decision was that the sale was not void.[28]

ii. Where the family head made a gift of such land without the requisite consent, the gift is void and it makes no difference that the gift was made to a member of the family.[29]

iii. The family head cannot unilaterally order the partition of family property without the consent of the principal members of the family. Such partition if made is ineffectual to determine the family ownership of the property.[30]

Suffice it to say that where a sale is void in law, the purchaser owns nothing and ownership remains in the family. But in the case of a voidable transaction, the sale remains valid until the non-consenting party seeks and obtains a court order to set it aside.[31] The attitude of those members who secretly sell family land without the requisite consent has been seriously condemned.[32] It is a fact that no member of a family can make an important disposition of family land without the consent of the family except where the family land has been partitioned into individual portions.

Fekumo opines that partition could be by agreement of the family or by court.[33] It is well settled law that sale of family land by the principal members without the consent or concurrence of the head of the family is void ab initio and that the court has the power to set aside a sale of land that is void or voidable.[34] However, the head of family cannot unreasonably withhold his consent for a sale of family land as against all the principal members of the family.[35]

Micheal Attah opines that the Power of Attorney must be granted by the party having power to do so in order to enjoy the requisite validity, that is, if the donor is the family it must receive the consent of the family council comprising the head and principal members.[36] Consent of all the branches of the family must be appended to the deed otherwise it is void.[37] But a conveyancer or solicitor for the purchaser who is interested in the validity, security and indefeasibility of the estate taken must insist on necessary consent of the appropriate authority. This would be caution reinforced by experience and modern instances and development.[38] Where any family property is convey by the principal members of the family without the concurrence of the head of the family, such is void ab initio at the end, the purchaser will suffer damage or loss.[39] It is essential to the validity of sale of family land that the head of family must join in the conveyance and the principal members of the family must consent to the transaction. Such a combination of parties is unimpeachable. Any sale or disposition purporting to transfer family land without this essential customary element is void ab initio.[40]

Egburuonu is of the view that where there is a purported sale of family land under the native law and custom, even where there is a receipt without a formal handling over of the land to the purchaser in the presence of witnesses (i.e. principal members of the family) is a nullity. Consequently any purported exchange of land in respect of the one sold is also a nullity.[41] A purchase receipt may be evidence of sale of property by a party to another. But it does not operate to pass the legal title in the property. At best, it could only vest the equitable right or interest in the property in the purchaser.[42] Any person who relies upon a sale or transfer of title under the native law and customs must prove in evidence the handing over of the land to him in the presence of witnesses as failure to do so will necessarily render the transaction incomplete and therefore void in that issuance of receipts (particularly in land transactions) is unknown to customary law.[43] A sale of a parcel of family land under customary law to transfer legal estate to the purchaser, certain conditions must co – exist and these include:[44]

 (1) payment of full purchase price to the vendor by the purchaser

 (2) the delivery of land to the purchaser by the vendor in the presence of witnesses.

It is trite that the head of a family if ascertained he is to some extent in the position of a trustee and as such holds the land for the use of the family.[45] He cannot convey the family land to a purchaser without consulting the principal members of the family. If by any means he conveys such family land without the consent of the principal members, an aggrieved member(s) can initiate an action to set aside the sale or conveyance with the purchaser as voidable.[46]

Obi argued that under customary land law, land is owned by a community or a family and not by a particular individual. Thus land therefore cannot be alienated by any member of the family without the consent of the head of family and that of the other principal members first sought and obtained.[47] This is no longer the position in Nigeria. The Land Use Act has abolished communal and family interest in land under sections 34 and 36 of the Act. Neither the family nor the community can be said to hold land under the Act.

Nwabueze argued that the basic issue of great importance is whether it is necessary to obtain the unanimous consent of all the principal members before a valid alienation can be effected. Is it sufficient if the consent of only a majority of the principal members is obtained?[48] It will be proper to say that such notion or custom should be scrapped in our society in order to give an individual member of a family a valid right to alienate family land and pass a better title to a purchaser without a majority of the principal members of the family.

James argued that the consent of a majority only of the principal members is sufficient for a valid alienation.[49] Nwabueze further argued that it will be tedious to insist that every member must consent to an alienation of family land. Besides there will be no security of tenure under customary law of the unanimous transaction.

Coker opines that family property was not just the present estate vesting in the family and supporting a series of gradually enlarging interest in future. The interest in family property of all existing members of the family entitled to participation vests instanta and continues until outright sale or partition to vest in the few members of the family who are living and countless members who are still unborn.[50]  This is why in property law, it is said that the concept of family land or property under customary law “exists the rule against perpetuities,”[51] and protected in the plane of time it becomes questionably one of the most unsatisfactory and complex land tenure holdings.[52] Under this land holding every member of a family has an interest in the property and under a duty to protect such property. Hence every member of the family has or enjoys a locus-standi to institute an action in respect of any wrong to illegal dealings with the property. And the right of action to protect the family property avails the individual member even if he has not the authority of the family to bring the action.[53] In other words, any members of the family no matter how insignificant he may be considered, can bring an action to court to protect a family property. This tends to make sale of family property uncertain and insecure. This is so because conveyancers approach such sales with detective eyes and a disgruntled member of the family can emerge at anytime or many years after sale to raise sundry objections. A purchaser of family land does not therefore know how many years he would enjoy the land before counting his blessings. This is because after a decade or more, the sale could be truncated at the suit of an aggrieved family member.[54] It must be noted that the doctrine of adverse possession does not apply under customary law[55] and therefore would not avail the purchaser.

Umezulike opines that the doctrine of adverse possession does not apply under customary law[56] and therefore would not avail the purchaser because a disgruntled member of the family can emerge at anytime or many years after sale to raise sundry objections.

Ezejiofor argued that a majority of the principal members should also be able to alienate without the concurrence of the head of family, but such alienation should be voidable at the instance of the dissenting principal members. It is tempting to suggest that since family land belongs to all the members of the family its alienation should be carried out by or with the approval of all or majority of the family members. But this will hardly facilitate dealings in family land. Often a family is made up of scores of members and it will undoubtedly be difficult to assemble all of them each time it is proposed to sell family land.[57] It will be preferable to execute a power of attorney in favour of a member of the family to carry out such dealings of family council, constant meetings, majority votes and democratic decision making may articulate the “will” of the family.

Woodman opines that no authority is required for the proposition that the position of a family head is akin to a corporation sole which remains in perpetuity. The inanimate institution or corporation remains while the incumbents come and go as a result of death or disposition, the family is a corporate body and the corporate body is land which includes all male/female children born to it. The right of alienation remains with the whole family.[58] Any sale of family land must be with the consent of the larger family including the family head, but the headship of the family as well as the ownership of the land, must obviously be established.[59] This is in conflict with the provisions of the Land Use Act which has abolished communal and family interest in land. The Act also abolished free hold system and in its place statutory or customary right of occupancy was recognize. By this implication land became owned by the government.

Notwithstanding the heated debates among legal authors in respect of this subject, the above works are not exhaustive for the purpose of this research. This chapter therefore concludes that it is not necessary to obtain concurrence or unanimous consent of the head and all principal members of the family for a valid family land transaction. This is rigorous to the modern day society and makes things difficult for purchasers of family land. The head and principal members of the family should enter a binding agreement via Power of Attorney authorizing an individual member to carry out land dealings to prevent purchasers from unwanted litigation.

 



[1] Ekpendu v. Erika (1959) 4 F.S.C., 79 at p. 80.

[2] Ibid.

[3] J. O. Irukwu and I. A. Umezulike, Judicial Excellence: Essays in Honour of Hon. Justice Anthony I. Iguh (JSC), (Enugu: Snaap Press Ltd., 2004), p. 400.

[4] Rabiu v. Amadu (2012) 1 KLR (Pt. 305) 418; see also E. I. Nwogugu, Legitimacy in Nigeria law [1964] vol. 8 Journal of African Law, p. 96; A. B. Kasunmu, “The Principle of Acknowledgement or Recognition of Paternity under Customary Law in Nigeria” (1964) 13 ICLQ 1093.

[5]  P. Ogundare, (J.C.A. as he then was) in Joshual Olorunfemi v. Joshua Akanbi Ojo [1993] 8 NWLR (Pt. 313) 542; see also Esari v. Faro [1947] 12 WACA 135; Akano v. Ajuwon [1967] 7 NWLR; Adedibu v. Makajunola, 10 WACA 33; Coker v. Oguntola [1985] 2 NWLR (Pt. 5) 87.

[6]  Speed Ag. C. J. Lewis v. Bankole (1909) NLR 81.

[7] Irukwu and Umezulike, note 3, p. 402.

[8]Ibid.

[9] Ekpendu v. Erika (1959) SCNLR 186; Sogunle v. Akerele (1967) NMLR 186; Layinka v. Gagele [1993] 3 NWLR (Pt. 283), p. 518.

[10] See, Ibe v. Ibe [2008] All FWLR (Pt. 405) 1721; Adeleke v. Iyanda [2001] FWLR (Pt. 60) 1580,;Odekilekun v. Hassan (1997) 12 SCNJ 114.

[11] Irukwu and Umezulike, note 3, pp. 402 – 403.

[12] Amodu Tijani v. Secretary of Southern Nigeria (1921) A.C. 404.

[13] Odeneye v. Efunuga [1991] 7 NWLR (Pt. 164) 618.

[14]Ogumefun v. Ogumefun (1990) 10 NLR 82 ; see also Per AgbajeJsc in Nzekwu v. Nzekwu [1989] 2 NWLR (Pt. 104)  373.

[15] See Sogunle v. Akerele cited above note 9, p. 58.

[16] Irukwu and Umezulike, note 3, p. 411.

[17] I. A. Umezulike, Issues In Contemporary Nigeria Land Law, (4thedn., Enugu: Dimension Publishers, 1995), P. 237.

[18] Ibid.,p. 412.

[19] Irukwu and Umezulike, note 3, p. 412.

[20] Ibid., p. 413.

[21] Ibid.

[22] I. A. Umezulike, A Guide to Instruments Registration and Land Registry Practice in Nigeria (Lagos: Yemi Oladele Agencies, 1992), p. 213.

[23] Ibid., at pp. 214 – 215.

[24] I. O. Smith, Practical Approach To Law of Real Property in Nigeria, (2ndedn., Lagos: Ecowatch Publications Limited, 2007), pp. 84 – 85.

[25] See, Thomas J. in Ashade & Ors v. Karimu Arubo & Ors. (1975)  CCHJ/11/1977.

[26] See, Ojo v. Anibire (2006) 10 NWLR (Pt. 882) 571 where the court held that such consent was no longer required and that the donation of a Power of Attorney as in this case had overridden the rights of individual members of the family over the land in dispute.

[27] Adejumo v. Ayantegbe [1989] 3 NWLR (Pt. 110) 147 at 448 paras. C – D; Ejileme v. Okpara & Anor (2003) 9 NWLR (Pt. 826) 536.

[28] Akano  v. Anjuwon [1967] NMLR 7.

[29] Oshodi  v. Aremu [1952] 14 WACA 83.

[30] Onasanya  v. Shiwoniku [1960] WNLR 166.

[31] Smith, note 24, p. 80.

[32] See, Per Craig JSC decision in Alao & Anor v. Ajani & Anor [1989] I NWLR 104 at p. 134.

[33] J. Finine Fekumo, Principles of Nigerian Customary Land Law, (Port Harcourt: F & F Publishers, 2002), p. 196.

[34] See, Tijani v. Akinpelu [2013] All FWLR (Pt. 682) 1763 at 1777: Sanusi v. Daniel [956] SCNJ 288; Ependu v. Erika above at note 9; Babayeju v. Ashamu [1998] 9 NWLR (Pt. 567) 546 at 554 – 555.

[35] Babayeju v. Ashamu above at note 34.

[36] Micheal Attah, “Dealings In Land Through Power of Attorney – A Quagmire for Donees” Nigeria Law and Practice Journal Vol. 8, 2007, pp. 14 – 15.

[37] Idowu v. Abayomi (1960) SCNLR 511 at 512.

[38] Irukwu andUmezulike, note 3, p. 414.

[39] Babayeju v. Ashamu above at note 34: see also Maya v. Oshuntokun [2001] FWLR (Pt. 81) 1777 at 1803, para. H.

[40] Maya  v. Oshuntokun above at note 39, paras. E – F;   Fayehun v. Fasoju [2000] FWLR (Pt. 7) 1218.

[41] E. Egburuonu, How To Handle Land Cases In Practice (Abia: Basic Rights Publications Limited 2001).

[42] Kachalla v. Banki [2001] FWLR (Pt. 73) 4 para. H – A.

[43] Cole v. Folami [1956] I FSC 66.

[44] Akpadiaha v. Owo [2001] FWLR (Pt. 57) 957 para. F - G.

[45] Smith, note 24, p. 63; see also Achilihu v. Anyantonwu [2013] All FWLR (Pt. 696) 483 at p. 495 paras. A-C.

[46] See, Salako v. Dosunmu [1997] 8 NWLR (Pt. 517) 371 at 374; Elias v. Disu [1962] 1 SCNLR 361; Falami v. Cole [1990] 2 NWLR (Pt. 133) 445; Adejumo v. Ayantegbe [1989] 3 NWLR (Pt. 110) 417.

[47] S. N. C. Obi, The Ibo Law of Property, (London: Butterworths, 1963), p. 32.

[48] B. O. Nwabueze, Nigeria Land Law, (Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Ltd., 1982), p. 274.

[49] R. W. James, Modern Law in Nigeria, (Osun: University of Ile-Ife Press, 1985).

[50] G. B. A. Coker, Family Property Among The Yorubas, (2nd edn., Sweet & Maxwell, 1996), p. 46.

[51] Irukwu and Umezulike, note 3, p. 404.

[52] Layinka v. Gagele above at note 9, at p. 530: Balogun v. Akanji (1992) 2 NWLR [Pt. 225] 591.

[53] Sogunle v. Akerele above at note 9, p. 58: C.P.D.L v. A.G. Lagos State (1976) 1 S.C 71; Oyebanji v. Okunola (1968) NMLR 221;  Solomon v. Mogaji (1982) 11 S.C. 1.

[54] Irukwu and Umezulike, note 3, p. 405.

[55] I. A. Umezulike, (OFR) Ownership of Land by Adverse Possession, Myth or Reality? Essays in Honour of Justice K. O. Anyah (Awa U. Kalu Ed., 2004), pp. 1 – 36.

[56]Ibid.

[57] G. Ezejiofor, Alienation of Family Property in Nigeria (12 Nig. B.J., 1974).

[58] G. R. Woodman, The Family as a Corporation in Ghana, 11 African Law Studies, 1. (1963).

[59] See, Olowoyo v. Oyo [2012] All FWLR (Pt. 628), p. 881, para H: RegRccg v. Bankole (2011) 14 WRN 138.

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