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Registration of Title to Land at Abuja Geographic Information System, Nigeria

Published: 15 October 2021

Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) was created to dictate and curb land racketeering and other fraudulent practices in relation to land in the FCT as well as provide a modern world-class system of registration of title to land

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria’s capital isgradually becoming a renowned city in Africa. In recent times, there has beenan influx of people into the city and its real estate development andconstruction sectors are developing at a tremendous pace. Residential estatesare springing up every day to provide accommodation for new entrants into thecity.

The on-going partnership between the FederalGovernment and private persons towards developing strategic projects and areas inthe city is a welcome development. The land registry; Abuja Geographic InformationSystem (AGIS) was created to dictateand curb land racketeering and other fraudulent practices in relation to landin the FCT as well as provide a modern world-class system of registration of titleto land.

AGIS registers Power of Attorney overundeveloped portions of land within Abuja whilst a Deed of Assignment isregistered to indicate the transfer of title in a developed portion of landwithin the FCT. Under the AGIS regime, both Power of Attorney and Deed ofAssignment cannot be registered simultaneously on a single portion of land. Wherethere is a change of ownership of land in the FCT, the new owner either files aPower of Attorney if the land is undeveloped or a Deed of Assignment if theland is developed. 

Again, except in specialcircumstances, AGIS only issues Statutory Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) ona land once. In order for a subsequent owner who acquires title from the C of Oholder to register his title, a Deed of Assignment will be registered at AGIS.It is common for a file at AGIS to contain a C of O and as many Deeds ofAssignment depending on how many times the land has been assigned to subsequentowners who register their title at AGIS. 

A C of O is a mere prima facie proof of ownership of aportion of land. The ownership of a person with a C of O may be rebutted by aperson with a better title over the land. A duly registered Deed of Assignmentwill achieve the same purpose as a C of O and even more because it helpsthird parties and AGIS officials to easily trace the subsequent owner’s root oftitle over the land. 

Besides, where a portion of landcontains several Plots, a subsequent owner of the portion of land must takesteps to register his title on the individual Plots that make up the portion ofland. This is because the Plots in the portion of land have different filenumber and documentations at AGIS.  As such registration of title in oneof the Plots does not translate to registration of title over the other Plotsin the portion of land.  

However, after registration of titleover the entire Plots in the portion of land, the subsequent owner may applyfor the Plots in the portion of land to be consolidated. In such an instance,the individual C of O of the Plots will be withdrawn and cancelled and a singleC of O issue for the entire Plots.

In a circumstance where the allotmentto a first allotee is wrongly re-allotted to a third party, the first alloteemay either;

 

(a)  Apply to theDirector of Land and follow up administratively for the subsequent allotment tobe cancelled.

(b)  Commence a suit inCourt against the Minister of the FCT and the subsequent allotee for the subsequentallotment to be cancelled.

(c)  Apply to theDirector of Land for a fresh allotment of another land in light of the landthat was wrongly allotted to a third party.

 

 


Emmanuel Ekpenyong FCIArb.
Fred-Young & Evans LP
Country:
Nigeria
Practice Area:
International Debt Collection
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234 8034912096
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