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5 Ways To Prove Ownership Of Land In Nigeria

5 Ways To Prove Ownership Of Land In Nigeria. Daily Law Tips (Tip 588) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

Land disputes are prevalent across Nigeria. Most communal clashes stem from land disputes. Aside Internet fraud, land transaction is a common tool in the hands of fraudsters.

Learning how to prove ownership of land is a vital skill in Nigeria. Ahead of a land dispute, the skill will enable land owners, sellers, purchasers and beneficiaries of land gifts to obtain important land documents and stay ready for land disputes at all times. This makes the work of prosecution and defence lawyers easy.

Below are the words of the Court of Appeal, on this issue.


”It is now well accepted that in a claim for declaration of title, a Plaintiff as well as a Defendant/counter claiming declaration of title to land has open to him five way by which to prove his title to the land in dispute. These five ways, which have crystallized over the years in a long line of decided cases as are replete in our law reports are each if proved by credible and cogent evidence sufficient to ground title in the party who so claims. These five methods are namely: (a) Evidence of traditional history of title (b) By production of title documents (c) By acts of ownership (d) By acts of possession long enough to warrant the person in possession as the owner. (e) By acts of possession of a adjoining or adjacent land in such a way as would make it probable that the owner of the adjoining or adjacent land is also the owner of the land in dispute. See Idundun V. Okumagba (10976) 6 – 10 SC 48,; Morenikeji V. Adebugun (2003) 8 NWLR (Pt. 825) 612; Ojah V. Eviawure (2000) FWLR (Pt. 57) 163; Okore V. Onuyejuwa (2001) FWLT (pt. 41) 1820.” Per BIOBELE ABRAHAM GEORGEWILL ,J.C.A ( Pp. 51-52, paras. C-B ). Quotation is from the case of GABDO v. USMAN (2015) LPELR-25678(CA)


1. The Court of Appeal’s judgement in the case of GABDO v. USMAN (2015) LPELR-25678(CA)

2. Idundun V. Okumagba (10976) 6 – 10 SC 48

3. Morenikeji V. Adebugun (2003) 8 NWLR (Pt. 825) 612;

4. Ojah V. Eviawure (2000) FWLR (Pt. 57) 163

5. Okore V. Onuyejuwa (2001) FWLT (pt. 41) 1820

Feel free to reach the author, ask questions or make inquiries on this topic or any other legal issues via onyekachi.umah@gmail.com or +2348037665878.


This work is published under the free legal awareness project of Sabi Law Foundation (www.SabiLaw.org) funded by the law firm of Bezaleel Chambers International (www.BezaleelChambers.com). The writer was not paid or charged any publishing fee. You too can support the legal awareness projects and programs of Sabi Law Foundation by donating to us. Donate here and get our unique appreciation certificate or memento.


This publication is not a piece of legal advice. The opinion expressed in this publication is that of the author(s) and not necessarily the opinion of our organisation, staff and partners.

Source: sabilaw

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