The land tenure system in Nigeria was revolutionized in 1978 with the promulgation of the Land Use Act (“LUA”). In accordance with the LUA, all land comprised within the territory of every state (besides land vested within the Federal Authorities or its businesses) at the moment are vested within the Governor of the State, who holds the identical in belief for the residents of the State.By advantage of part 22 of the LUA, the alienation – by the holder of a statutory proper of occupancy granted – of his proper of occupancy by project, mortgage, switch of possession, sublease, and so forth. is prohibited with out the consent of the Governor (first had and obtained). It’s subsequently extremely essential to make sure that one obtains Governor’s consent as any transaction or any instrument which purports to confer on or vest in any individual any curiosity or proper over land with out Governor’s consent shall be null and void (part 26 LUA). In Savannah Financial institution v. Ajilo (1989) 1 NWLR (pt. 97), Justice Nnamani J.S.C. said that:
“Every holder of a right of occupancy whether statutory or otherwise is regarded as having been granted the right by the Military Governor or Local Government as the case may be, for the purpose and control of management of all land comprised in the state. Accordingly, every such holder, whether under sections 5, 34 or 36 of the Land Use Act requires the prior consent of the Military Governor before he can transfer, mortgage or otherwise dispose of his interest in the right of occupancy.”As Governor’s are sometimes very busy with the enterprise of main the state, part 45 of the LUA permits a Governor to delegate to the State Commissioner all or any of the powers conferred on the Governor by the LUA together with the facility to grant consent. Issues, could nonetheless come up the place the official conveying or granting the consent has finished so beneath the delegation of the Governor. This drawback sometimes happens the place the delegated State Commissioner doesn’t grant the consent however a decrease official within the ministry (Ag. Chief Lands Officer, Everlasting Secretary or Director of Lands) grants the consent. In U.B.N. Plc v. Ayodare & Sons (Nig.) Ltd. (2007) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1052), it was argued that the consent granted to the 2 deeds of authorized mortgage was inconsistent with the provisions of the LUA because it was not granted by the Governor or the State Commissioner but it surely was granted by the Ag Chief Lands Officer of Kwara State. In voiding the consent granted, the Court docket held that,
“Since person who signed was not the Governor’s delegate it would be wrong to assume that the Signature of the Ag. Chief Lands Officer on exhibit D1 cannot be seen as being in substantial conformity with the signature of the Governor or his delegate, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing.”In view of the foregoing determination of the Supreme Courts and a plethora of choices sharing the identical sentiment because the Supreme Court docket in U.B.N. Plc v. Ayodare & Sons (Nig.), it’s of essential significance that the place the approval for consent is to be granted to a mortgage (in reference to land coated by a statutory proper of occupancy), the Governor or his delegate ought to signal the letter granting consent.