Nigeria: Land transfers, including land rights, land registration, requirements, and procedures to transfer land, official land transfer documents, and fraud in land transfers; land inheritance, including legislation (2019–February 2022) [NGA200789.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Land Transfers

According to an article by Resolution Law Firm, a Nigerian law firm "offering corporate and general civil legal services" with offices in Lagos (Resolution Law Firm n.d.a), the sources of laws administering property transactions in Nigeria include customary laws, case laws and "[r]eceived English [l]aws" [1] (Resolution Law Firm 4 Jan. 2021). A peer-reviewed article on the land administration system in Nigeria published by the Land Portal Foundation (Land Portal), which produces, compiles and publishes information on land governance (Land Portal n.d.a), and authored by a Land Portal representative, who is also a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany who conducts research on land conflicts (Land Portal n.d.b), indicates that together with statutory laws, customary law is also "prevalent" in "most parts" of Nigeria and Sharia law is "prevalent" in the North of Nigeria (Land Portal 9 Mar. 2021).

1.1 Customary Law

The Land Portal article states that customary law varies between communities (Land Portal 9 Mar. 2021). The same source notes that even among urban areas, customary laws continue to "prevai[l]" in the land tenure system (Land Portal 9 Mar. 2021). Chaman Law Firm, a Nigerian real estate and commercial law firm with offices in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state (Chaman Law Firm n.d.), notes that the head and "principal" members of the family must consent to the sale of family or communal land under customary law (Chaman Law Firm 17 July 2021). Sources indicate that property transactions conducted under customary laws are ["mostly" (Chaman Law Firm 17 July 2021)] conducted orally (Chaman Law Firm 17 July 2021; Resolution Law Firm 4 Jan. 2021). Resolution Law Firm states that customary laws do not recognize written transfer documents such as deeds, and that a property transfer "is deemed to be complete and valid where the purchaser is in possession, there is evidence of payment of the purchase price and there are witnesses to the transaction" (Resolution Law Firm 4 Jan. 2021). Chaman Law Firm observes that although oral contracts are "valid," they are "generally unenforceable" (Chaman Law Firm 17 July 2021). Further and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.2 Statutory Law and the Land Registration Authority

A report published by the Global Legal Group (GLG) [2] and authored by a team of lawyers at Greychapel Legal, "a full-service Nigerian commercial law firm" whose areas of practice include real estate, indicates that real estate in Nigeria is "largely regulated by the laws in the state in which the land is situated and differs from state to state" (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 131, 140).

The same source indicates the following:

The main laws that govern real estate in Nigeria are:

  1. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 … , Laws of the Federation of Nigeria ("LFN") 2004 (as amended) …
  2. The Land Use Act 1978 … (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 131)

Section 43 of the Constitution of Nigeria provides the following: "Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria" (Nigeria 1999).

The Land Use Act provides the following:

1. Vesting of all land in the State

Subject to the provisions of this Act, all land comprised in the territory of each State in the Federation is hereby vested in the Governor of that State, and such land shall be held in trust and administered for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

5. Powers of the Governor in relation to land

(1) It shall be lawful for the Governor in respect of land, whether or not in an urban area to—

(a) grant statutory rights of occupancy to any person for all purposes;

6. Powers of local government in relation to land not in urban areas

(1) It shall be lawful for a local government in respect of land not in an urban area to-

(a) grant customary rights of occupancy to any person or organisation for the use of land in the local government area for agricultural, residential and other purposes;

22. Prohibition of alienation of statutory right of occupancy without consent of Governor

(1) It shall not be lawful for the holder of a statutory right of occupancy granted by the Governor to alienate his right of occupancy or any part thereof by assignment, mortgage, transfer of possession, sublease or otherwise howsoever without the consent of the Governor first had and obtained:

(2) The Governor when giving his consent to an assignment, mortgage or sub-lease may require the holder of a statutory right of occupancy to submit an instrument executed in evidence of the assignment, mortgage or sub-lease and the holder shall when so required deliver the said instrument to the Governor in order that the consent given by the Governor under subsection (1) of this section may be signified by endorsement thereon. (Nigeria 1978, bold and italics in original)

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a law firm based in Lagos whose practice areas include real estate law stated that land transfers in Nigeria are completed at the ministry of land of the state where the land is located (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021).

Sources indicate that, per the Land Use Act, the transfer of a legal title to land requires the consent of the Governor of the state where the land is located (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021; Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 132), and is only completed upon registration (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 131).

1.3 Certificate of Occupancy

The law firm stated that a purchaser of land can obtain the Governor's consent by filing an application through a ministry of land, and that "[u]pon being satisfied with the application and payment of the required fees, the Governor can either issue a statutory right of occupancy or consent to the land transaction" (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021).

Sources indicate that a Certificate of Occupancy is issued a single time for each piece of land (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021; Resolution Law Firm n.d.b) and it "confer[s] ownership and right of occupancy in a definite land" (Resolution Law Firm n.d.b). Where a Certificate of Occupancy has been previously issued, the law firm stated that "the consent of the Governor would be evidenced on the title deeds … usually … through the signature and stamp of the Governor or their appointed representative" (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021).

According to sources, all land in Nigeria is owned by the state government [or the Governor (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 132)] and the government may lease any land that is purchased for a period of 99 years, after which time the title may be renewed by the owner (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 132; Resolution Law Firm n.d.b).

According to an article published in 2017 on the website of the Lands Bureau of the Lagos State Government, the administration had issued 4,252 Electronic Certificates of Occupancy since its inception in May 2015 (Lagos June 2017). In addition, a 2021 piece published by Vanguard, a daily Nigerian newspaper, and written by Oluwatoyosi Ogunrinde, a representative of the Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, indicates that the state government published "over" 1,000 Certificates of Occupancy on 29 May 2020, which was the "the highest figure ever" issued at one time (Ogunrinde 25 Aug. 2021).

A sample of a Certificate of Occupancy, provided by the law firm and issued by the Lagos State Governor, is attached to this Response.

A report on investment in the Nigerian real estate market by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a network of firms in 158 countries providing "assurance, advisory and tax services," notes that "most" Nigerian residents, particularly those residing in rural areas, do not comply with the Land Use Act and do not hold certificates for their land (PwC 2019, 1, 4). Land Portal similarly indicates that except in "wealthy urban areas," the number of properties with Certificates of Occupancy is "low," since the registration process is "lengthy and costly," and the owner is required to pay annual rent or tax once the certificate is issued (Land Portal 9 Mar. 2021).

1.4 Procedures and Requirements to Transfer Land

According to the Greychapel Legal report, there are various stages in the process of purchase and sale of real estate under Nigerian law, including the following general steps:

  1. the contract stage which involves the negotiation and documentation of conditions for the sale of the property;
  2. the carrying out of due diligence by the purchaser to determine, amongst other things, the validity of the title of the vendor;
  3. the completion stage which culminates in the execution and delivery of the title documents; and
  4. the post-completion stage, which involves the registration of the title of the buyer including obtaining the governor's/minister's consent, stamping the instrument of assignment, and registering same. (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 134)

The report by Greychapel Legal indicates that in a land sale, the "transfer of an equitable interest in the land" is achieved when the transfer documents are completed and delivered by the parties; however, the legal title of the land is only transferred once the required documentation has been filed with the applicable land registry (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 132). The same source reports that to register ownership rights in land, the following documents will be required:

  • Originals of the instrument of transfer.
  • Evidence of tax payment by the applicant.
  • Survey plan of the property.
  • Statutory form for application of a subsequent registration in land (Form 1c [3] in Lagos State).
  • Evidence of payment of statutory fees. (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 133)

In a 2021 article published by the Guardian, a daily newspaper in Nigeria, the President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers indicated that "over 90 per cent of land in Nigeria has not been registered" (The Guardian 19 Apr. 2021). According to the Greychapel Legal report, the "foremost consequence" of non-registration of land is that properties may be subject to a fraudulent sale and lists the following other risks associated with non-registration:

  • An unregistered instrument evidencing title to land is inadmissible in evidence as proof of such title.
  • A subsequent (possibly fraudulent) buyer who proceeds to register their title will, in certain circumstances, have priority over the unregistered title holder.
  • In certain instances, the instrument of title may be void if not registered within the stipulated time. (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 132)

1.4.1 Land Title Registration in Lagos State

Section 2 of the Lagos State Land Registration Law No. 1 provides that "[e]very document of interest or title to Land in Lagos State shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of this law" (Lagos 2015).

The law firm stated that "the procedure for transfer of title in Nigeria is similar in all states, with slight differences" and that the Lagos State procedure "usually" includes the following steps:

Step 1: Application

The purchaser or person seeking to transfer title (hereafter purchaser) must make an application to the Governor through the ministry of lands in the state. The application must be submitted with the required documents including three copies of the title deeds, an application letter addressed to the Directorate of Land Services, government-issued means of identification (international passport, driver's license, voter's card or National Identity Card), duly completed Form 1C, locational sketch map, chartable survey plan (with evidence of lodgment of record copy), certified true copy (CTC) of the root of title or title of the property, photographs of property showing time and date, 4 passports photos of the vendor (5 x 5) with white background, and current tax clearance of the parties involved in the transaction.

Step 2: Referencing

Having submitted the application along with the required documents and payment of the application fee, the application would be referenced and a file number would be given to the applicant.

Step 3: Charting

The ministry of lands through the office of the Surveyor General would carry out its investigation of the land in order to know the status of the land. This investigation is referred to as charting and it seeks to find out if the land is government-acquired land, committed land or free from acquisition.

Step 4: Assessment

At this stage, the ministry would carry out an assessment of the land in order to determine the value. This involves [a visit with] land inspectors designated to evaluate the worth of the property.

Step 5: Demand Notice

Having assessed the land, the ministry would issue a Demand Notice to the applicant, which would contain a list of fees to be paid. The fees include [the following]:

  1. Consent fees at 1.5% of the assessed value;
  2. Capital Gain Tax (CGT) at 0.5% of the assessed value;
  3. Stamp Duty at 0.5% of the assessed value;
  4. Registration Fees at 0.5% of the assessed value;
  5. The Neighborhood Improvement Charges (N.I.C.) (for private and excised lands) assessed at the size of land [and] number of years of relevant title.

Step 6: Payment of Fees

Upon receiving the Demand Notice, the applicant is required to pay the fees stipulated therein and forward the evidence of payment to the ministry's treasury department.

Step 7: Approval & Endorsement

Please note that during the application process, the application documents are viewed by different officials and action is being taken. However, of key importance is the Honourable Commissioner's office where the application would be approved and endorsed.

In most cases, the deed is signed and endorsed by the Attorney General/Minister of Justice of the state or any other designated state official.

Step 8: Stamping

Upon approval and endorsing of the documents, the applicant is required to stamp the title deeds. This is usually done at the stamp duties office within the ministry if the transaction is between two individuals or at the Federal Inland Revenue Services office if the transaction involves a registered entity.

Step 9: Registration

Having stamped the documents, the next step involves registration of the documents at the office of the registrar of title. The registration is required in order to ensure that a record of the transfer is well kept and available for viewing by members of the public.

Step 10: Collection of Documents

Upon the completion of stamping and registration, the applicant would be entitled to receive a copy of the title deeds. This marks the end of the transfer of title procedure and serves as prima facie evidence of same. (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021)

1.5 Due Diligence

The law firm explained that due diligence is an investigation of land boundaries conducted by a land surveyor to assess whether the land is "government-acquired or committed land or if the land is free from acquisition"; the buyer's solicitor also checks that the land is "not subject to a pending litigation, that the title is valid and that there are no encumbrances or charges on the land" (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021). A guide published by DLA Piper, a "global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific" (DLA Piper n.d.), states that buyers of land in Nigeria may conduct due diligence in land conveyances, and that

[c]onducting due diligence on title to the property and the capacity of the seller to alienate the interests is [at] the discretion of the purchaser. It is a necessary process to be carried out for the buyer's protection and it is usual in the transfer of title process for the buyer to instruct a solicitor to conduct due diligence to ascertain the title and interests in the real property, the land use and zoning purpose, external or third party interests, residue or the term of years and the status and capacity of the seller. (DLA Piper 1 Sept. 2020a)

The law firm noted that conducting due diligence is "quite crucial" since there is no legal requirement for the vendor to disclose "any hidden defect" (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021).

According to sources, there are land registry offices in each of the states in Nigeria (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 132; DLA Piper 1 Sept. 2020b), although there is no central land registry in Nigeria (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 132). In Lagos State, the land registry is a department under the Lagos State Land Bureau (Lagos n.d.b).

According to sources, land searches can be conducted electronically in Lagos State through the Lagos Information Management System (LIMS) (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 133; Otubu 2020, 153), and in the Federal Capital Territory through the Abuja Geographic Information System (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 133).

The Lagos State Lands Registration Law No. 1 provides the following:

18. Every land document shall be registered using the LIMS including those documents registered at the land Registry before the commencement of this Law. …

22.–(I) The Registrar may allow searches to be conducted at all reasonable times in any book, register or file of registration or filed documents in his custody.

… (Lagos 2015)

The same law also indicates that an applicant can request a registry search by submitting an application form [4] to the Registrar and paying the fees, and that a report of the search [5] will be issued to the applicant (Lagos 2015, Sec. 22(2)–(5)).

The Greychapel Legal report indicates that the public can access and obtain information from the land registry in Lagos state without any restriction, but also adds that in "some states," the consent of the landowner is required to access property records (Greychapel Legal 12 Dec. 2020, 133).

1.6 'Land Grabbers' and Fraud in Land Transfers

According to Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2021 report, "Nigeria's poorly regulated property rights system hinders citizens and businesses from engaging in the efficient and legal purchase or sale of property, including land" (Freedom House 3 Mar. 2021, Sec. G2). The same report also states that "[b]ribery is a common practice when … registering property in Nigeria" (Freedom House 3 Mar. 2021, Sec. G2). The Land Portal article indicates that the property system "creates various opportunities for corruption on the part of state officials" (Land Portal 9 Mar. 2021). Sources report that under the power granted to them by the Land Use Act, state governors have allocated land to their "clientele" (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020, 18) or "cronies" (The Punch 26 Nov. 2021).

PwC indicates that due to a combination of low housing supply and income level, as well as "bureaucra[tic] and corrupt practices" in the land administration system, there has been a trend for urban households to make purchases on the informal property market (PwC 2019, 4). The Punch, a Nigerian newspaper, cites a representative of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers as indicating that unregistered real estate transactions are vulnerable to "unlawful takeover" (The Punch 3 Apr. 2021).

According to the 2021 article by Ogunrinde, land grabbers, also known as Omo-Onile, operate via "force, deception and intimidation to gain access and control over increasingly scarce land," and "are key actors in exacerbating tensions, including conflicts between landowners, buyers and private investors" (Ogunrinde 25 Aug. 2021). The same source states that land grabbing is illegal, but has become "more pronounced" in Lagos State and adds that as of 27 May 2020, the Lagos State governor's administration had resolved 350 land grabbing cases and there were over 600 cases at various stages of resolution (Ogunrinde 25 Aug. 2021). The Punch notes that the Lagos State government resolved 350 cases of land grabbing out of 1,000 complaints in June 2020 or 35 percent of the cases (The Punch 3 Apr. 2021).

An article published in April 2021 on the website of the Lagos State Lands Bureau notes the following:

Some of the communities where Land Grabbers are most notorious in Lagos State at the momen[t] are Okenla Village, Idake Village, Ajaooki Village, Ladegbole Village, Imedu Village, Iratirin Village, Obadimisi Village, Shekina Alo Village, Fowoseje Village, Iraboko Village, Adamatiye Community, Ogunro Community and Sorogun Community; all in Ibeju -Lekki as well as Ogombo Village Eti-Osa, and Oshiun Village in Kosofe, Lagos State. (Lagos Apr. 2021)

The same source cites the coordinator of the Lagos State Special Task Force on Land Grabbers as indicating that a task force empowered to make arrests has been created under the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016 to combat land grabbers and to encourage real estate development (Lagos Apr. 2021). According to the official website of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, the "Special Task Force on Land Grabbers" can be reached via a dedicated hotline or by email (Lagos n.d.c). The same source states that the Task Force has received approximately 4,300 petitions from the public since its inception in June 2016, with "about" 1,700 having been resolved, "about 2,600 currently being handled," and some matters being prosecuted in Court (Lagos n.d.c). According the Punch, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy indicated that the task force has been "inundated" with complaints and was further quoted as stating that complaints of the task force not acting quickly "'may be right'" (The Punch 3 Apr. 2021). The same article describes an individual who submitted a complaint to the task force when his property was demolished and sold by land grabbers in 2016; the task force did not respond until a former Ministry of Justice director intervened and [as of April 2021], the property has not been returned and the culprits have not faced legal consequences (The Punch 3 Apr. 2021).

2. Land Inheritance

Section 26(3) of the Lagos State Lands Registration Law No. 1 provides the following: "Any succession to land under a Will or on intestacy or insolvency does not require the Governor's consent but must be registered on production of a certified true copy of the Grant or Letter of Administration" (Lagos 2015). Resolution Law Firm indicates that upon the death of a landowner,

the personal representatives of such person before exercising control or ownership over the property must obtain a Grant of Probate in case the deceased left a Will or Grant of Letter of Administration in case the deceased died intestate. The Probate and the Letter of Administration are the only valid titles to any property left behind by the deceased person. (Resolution Law Firm n.d.b)

The law firm indicated that inheritance law is different in each state, but "most" are "similar in nature" (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021). The same source added that inheritance is "generally" governed by customary or statutory law (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021).

According to sources, Nigerian [statutory (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021)] law recognizes two kinds of disposition when a person dies: testate or intestate (Ezeilo 5 Oct. 2020, 1; law firm 1 Dec. 2021). The law firm explained that intestate "means the deceased died without a will or had a will that partially covered the management and distribution of his properties" and testate refers to a person dying with a will (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021). The same source further noted the following:

In Lagos state, the law that guides inheritance is the Administration of Estates Law of Lagos, 2015 and it provides for the procedure for obtaining grant of probate or letters of administration.

Distribution of land through inheritance is administered by the Executors or Administrators (personal representatives of the deceased's estate.) Ownership is therefore obtained when the personal representatives give their assent. Assent is a title deed passing title of land to a descendant. It is usually executed by the personal representatives and the descendants and is also a registrable instrument under the title registration law of Lagos state. (Law firm 1 Dec. 2021)

According to a 2021 report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an NGO that provides assistance to refugees (NRC n.d.), customary laws throughout Nigeria are "used to resolve disputes and govern everyday life," although they have not been formally incorporated into legislation (NRC 2021, 19). Sources indicate that inheritance rights throughout Nigeria can be influenced by customary laws and norms (Oriaghan 30 July 2018; Leadway 31 Oct. 2018) and "that Nigeria has over 250 ethnic tribes [which] means that the pattern of inheritance under customary law [varies] according to each ethnic group" (Leadway 31 Oct. 2018). The BBC notes that in 2014 Nigeria's Supreme Court ruled that "it was discriminatory to exclude female children, 'whatever the circumstances of their birth' from sharing in the parents' estate and that the Igbo custom, which conflicted with the constitution, was therefore illegal" (BBC 2 Feb. 2021). The same source states that "not much has changed [among Igbo people] despite that ruling" and provides the following information:

In most [Igbo] families, property left behind by fathers is divided among male children - the size of each person's share is determined by age so older siblings tend to get more - and women are excluded. In some cases where shares are given to women, they are limited to things owned by their mothers and cannot inherit lands and houses.

Many Igbos believe that ancestral family land should not be inherited by women as they are expected to leave the community when they get married, while men remain to carry on the family heritage. There is also the fear of husbands gaining access to a family's land through marriage if women are allowed to own land.

Disinherited women have the option of going to court, but the expensive legal process can last decades and might create family rifts, so they approach local chiefs - who are usually men - and relatives to seek redress which they rarely get. (BBC 2 Feb. 2021)

According to a 2020 research paper published by Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, a professor and dean of law at the University of Nigeria, and the former UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, land inheritance has been a "critical issue of concern for women's human rights in Nigeria" (Ezeilo 5 Oct. 2020, 1, 13). The same source indicates that the rules regarding intestate inheritance are traditionally driven and discriminatory against women, and states the following:

With respect to intestate inheritance/succession law in Nigeria, there is a wide gap between law and practice. The existing laws regarding intestacy of persons married under the [Wills] Act, for example, are hardly enforced. The position in practice is that when a man dies intestate, the tendency or the usual practice in most Igbo-speaking States for instance is to subject all his estate-both realty and personally-to customary laws of intestate succession. These customary laws informed by tradition are very discriminatory against women. While the law of inheritance and succession under English law is reasonably settled, the aspect dealing with customary law is not, which breeds conflict and acrimony among heirs. What is more, the law discriminates among beneficiaries, especially women. The discriminatory aspects of property inheritance under customary law in Nigeria manifests in different forms and scope ranging from primogeniture rules, right of spouses, rights of adopted children and rights of illegitimate children …

It is pertinent to note that customary laws and practices governing intestate inheritance vary from one ethnic group to another …

Customary laws and practice around land and property ownership are discriminatory against women despite section 42 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria that prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex, ethnicity, etc. Women should ordinarily enjoy the right to acquire, own, and dispose of land. As it were, women cannot out rightly own land (through traditional succession of titles to land) and their use is tied to their status as wives and typically terminates upon divorce or death of their husband. The law of inheritance is very germane to women's right to land, housing, and property in general. The interplay of customary law and statutory law results in a conflict of laws and general confusion in case law and common appreciation of the law. (Ezeilo 5 Oct. 2020, 1–2)

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


[1] Resolution Law Firm indicates that "received English laws" consist of "English [c]ommon [l]aws, [d]octrines of [e]quity, and [s]tatutes of [g]eneral [a]pplication" [imported from English law during British colonial rule in Nigeria] (Resolution Law Firm 4 Jan. 2021).

[2] Global Legal Group (GLG) is a "London-based media company specialising in the legal market" that provides "legal, regulatory and policy information to senior executives, general counsel, law firms and government agencies"; its "authors and information sources are selected" from "leading legal authorities in each jurisdiction," notably by lawyers (GLG n.d.).

[3] Form 1C should "be completed by the parties and duly notarized by a Notary Public or signed by a Commissioner for Oaths" (World Bank 24 Oct. 2019). Form 1C is available online (Lagos n.d.a).

[4] The template of an application form for conducting a land registry search in Lagos state, form 3, can be found in Schedule 1 of the Lagos State Lands Registration Law No. 1, which is available online (Lagos 2015).

[5] The template of a Lagos state land registry search report can be found in Schedule 1 of the Lagos State Lands Registration Law No. 1, which is available online (Lagos 2015).


Bertelsmann Stiftung. 2020. "Nigeria Country Report." Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI) 2020. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 2 February 2021. Nduka Orjinmo. "Nigeria Inheritance: 'My Brothers Took Everything When My Father Died'." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Chaman Law Firm. 17 July 2021. "Overview of Sale of Landed Property in Nigeria." [Accessed 22 Feb. 2022]

Chaman Law Firm. N.d. "About Us." [Accessed 22 Feb. 2022]

DLA Piper. 1 September 2020a. "Due Diligence." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

DLA Piper. 1 September 2020b. "Registration of Title." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

DLA Piper. N.d. "About Us." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Ezeilo, Joy Ngozi. 5 October 2020. "Rethinking Women and Customary Inheritance in Nigeria." Commonwealth Law Bulletin. Vol. 47, No. 4. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Freedom House. 3 March 2021. "Nigeria." Freedom in the World 2021. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

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Greychapel Legal. 12 December 2020. Oladele Oladunjoye, Eniola Elegushia, and Oluwatelemi Ola-James. "Nigeria." International Comparative Legal Guides: Real Estate 2021. 16th ed. Global Legal Group (GLG). [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

The Guardian [Nigeria]. 19 April 2021. "90 Per Cent of Land in Nigeria Not Registered, Say Estate Surveyors." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Lagos. April 2021. Lands Bureau. "Fraudulent Sales of Government Land Must Stop – Bode Agoro." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Lagos. June 2017. Lands Bureau. "LASG Issues 821 Electronic Certificates of Occupancy in 5Months." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

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Leadway Capital and Trusts Limited (Leadway). 31 October 2018. "Inheritance and Customary Laws in Nigeria." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

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Ogunrinde, Oluwatoyosi. 25 August 2021. "Sustaining War on Land Grabbing in Lagos." Vanguard. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Oriaghan, Izehi. 30 July 2018. "A Quick Look at Women's Land and Inheritance Rights in Nigeria." Hilton Prize Coalition. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Otubu, Akintunde. 2020. "Land Registration Law and Practice in Nigeria: Lessons from United Kingdom." International Journal of Comparative Law and Legal Philosophy (IJOCLLEP). Vol. 2, No. 2. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). 2019. Andrew S. Nevin, Oluseyi Agbedana and Omomia Omosomi. Bringing Dead Capital to Life: What Nigeria Should Be Doing. [Accessed 23 Feb. 2022]

The Punch. 26 November 2021. Abeokuta Daud Olatunji. "'Nigerian Governors Are Land Grabbers'." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

The Punch. 3 April 2021. Afeez Hanafi. "How Lagos, Ogun Land Grabbers Truncate People's Dream of Becoming Homeowners." [Accessed 23 Feb. 2022]

Resolution Law Firm. 4 January 2021. "Overview of Property Law in Nigeria – Real Estate Law in Lagos Nigeria." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Resolution Law Firm. N.d.a. "Who We Are." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Resolution Law Firm. N.d.b. "Types of Land Titles in Nigeria & Documents Required for Land Purchase." [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

World Bank. 24 October 2019. "Economy Profile: Nigeria." Doing Business 2020: Comparing Business Regulation in 190 Economies. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Lagos – Lands Bureau; Lagos-based lawyer specializing in real estate law; Nigerian law firms specializing in real estate law (7).

Internet sites, including: AllAfrica;; Factiva; The Global African Investors Alliance;; Human Rights Watch; J.O. Fabunmi & Co.; Lex Artifex, LLP; Lexology; UN – Food and Agriculture Organization, Refworld.


Nigeria. 2018. Sample of a Certificate of Occupancy. Sent to the Research Directorate by the Lagos-based law firm, 1 December 2021. Translated into French by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada.

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