Possession as Means of Proof of Ownership In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Law

Possession as Means of Proof of Ownership In Nigeria


This project work critically examines possession as a means of proof of ownership to land. The question of possession, ownership, title to land and prescription shall be answered.

The approach is mainly analytical. The writer will employ the use of primary data like reports and statutory books. Secondary data like legal dictionaries and opinion of learned authors will also be employed.

This work will assist greatly legal minded persons to understand possession and ownership better.

  • Chapter one, lays the foundation by defining what land is, what possession is and critically examines the distinction between Possession and Occupation.
  • Chapter Two includes, possession and claim of title to land and the prescription under customary law.
  • Chapter Three includes, possession and trespass, proof of possession and Recovery of land.
  • Chapter Four includes, the conclusion and observation which will be made under possession under the Nigeria Law.

Chapter Five

5.1 Conclusion

The only interest in land created by the land Use Act is a right of occupancy-statutory or customary. Section 5(1) and 6 (1) of the Act empower the Governor and Local Government to grant statutory and customary rights of occupancy respectively. The land Use Act has not affected so much the customary ownership of land; save the requirement of consent for alienation which is obligatory in every land transaction. This study submits that the discriminatory way in which the Land Use Act is administered has effectively denied every citizen, equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law and ensures that citizens do not have the opportunity for seeming adequate means of livelihood.

Although, as noted earlier, the Act preserves existing land rights in non-urban areas, the government has not provided sufficient financial and other incentives to enable small dwellers to cultivate their lands and feed themselves and the rest of Nigerians.

5.2 Recommendations

  1. Governments should acknowledge and recognize the rights of the indigenous people to their natural heritage and guide them through mutual understanding on how resources should be managed on sustainable basis.
  2. The government should revisit the method of land holding in the country and to take drastic measures to address the inequities. It must not only provide family-scale farms with secure titles, free from encumbrances, but must in addition, provide them with adequate credit and technical know-how.

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