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23 Jan

PL-PRACTICE WEEK 3 (GENERAL INTRODUCTION AND APPLICABLE LAWS)

GENERAL OVERVIEW AND APPLICABLE LAWS.

WEEK 3 — GENERAL OVERVIEW AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK

:: OVERVIEW (OBJECTIVES, CONTENT AND SCOPE) OF THE PROPERTY LAW PRACTICE (MODULE) COURSE: Covers transactions and endeavours bearing on real property[1] like deeds, power of attorney, Sale of Land, Leases and Tenancies, Assignment of Leases, Mortgages and charges, License, Easement, LRL, Wills and Codicils, PR, Property Taxation, etc.

:: VARIOUS PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS:

Sale of Land, Leases and Tenancies, Assignment, Mortgages and charges, License, Easement, etc.

:: APPLICABLE LAWS TO PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS, ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES AND PROPERTY TAXATION IN NIGERIA.

  • Nigerian Legislation: Validly enacted by the Federal and State Governments to deal with areas within their legislative competence. Some include;

CFRN 1999 (Esp S 44 & 43), – LUA 1978 (esp. S 1 & 22), – PCL (esp. S 77), – SDA (22), – CAMA, – Evidence Act, – AELs, – CGTA, – PITA, – Illiterates Protection Law, Land Registration Laws (like LIRL, LRLL2014[2]), Wills Laws of the various States, MPL, High Court Civil Procedure Rules, RPC, Marriage Act, LPA, etc.

  • Customary Law: is generally regarded as a question of fact which (in addition to not being contrary to natural justice, equity and good conscience) must be pleaded and proved-Olubodun v Lawal[3].
  • Islamic Law: See Ajibaiye v Ajibaiye.
  • Case Law: Like Savannah Bank v Ajiloh, Ude v Nwara, Idehen v Idehen, Ogunleye v Oni, to mention a few.
  • Received English Law[4]: E.g. the Statute of Frauds 1677[5], Conveyancing Act 1881[6], Wills Act 1837[7].

Precedents can be utilised… not slavishly, but competently with necessary modifications to suit the instant transaction and preferences of client. This allows for expediency and consistency-International Textile Industries Nigeria Ltd v Aderemi.

:: ETHICAL ISSUES ARISING FROM LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF APPROPRIATE LAW.

– Observe rule of law (1);

– Act within bounds of law(15); not subject himself to whims and caprices of client and if client persists, he withdraws

– Do not engage in LP with non-LP (3);

– Competence and diligence (16) NBA v Akintokun.

Dedication (14).

Conflict of Interest (17).

Confidentiality (19);

– Receive instructions in office (22);

– Competently reflect intention of client/negotiation of parties;

– Utmost good faith and fiduciary duties (23);

– No improper attraction of business (39); not ferment strife/instigate litigation or solicit for briefs

– Sincerity and good faith with colleagues (27);

– Duty to court (30-36);

–  Compliance with the law (getting Stamp, consent and registration);

– Duty to account;

– General duty (Rule 1 RPC) to maintain high standard of professionalism.

Others include; Not frank document not prepared by him, pay annual practicing fee-get annual practicing certificate and affix NBA seal n stamp to document, consult with and keep client informed be candid and forbearing in his response with/to client; charge reasonably NBA v Iteogu, NBA v Akintokun, Akintokun v LPDC.

 

[1] See Section 2 of the Conveyancing Act which defines Real Property as land, anything attached to land and incorporeal hereditaments. Land may be acquired by first settlement, conquest, customary grant of land, gift of land, sale of land, inheritance or devolution of land.

[2] Repeals and Consolidates the RLL, RTL, RTAR, LIRL & EDMSL (Electronic Document Management System Law 2007). Such registration confers legal interest and serves as notice.

[3] In this case, the court also noted that documentary evidence is unknown to customary law.

[4] Flowing from Nigeria’s inextricable historical link with Britain, Statutes of General Application that were in existence as at 1st January, 1900 are made applicable in Nigeria… subject to local legislations and circumstances-Ude v Nwara. Especially where there exists a lacuna. The Western Region however enacted most of the laws to their LWN.

[5] Requires disposition of interest in land to be in writing. See also Section 67 PCL. Section 5 Law Reform (Contract) Act FCT and same section 5 in that of Lagos State. See also Adeniran v Olagunju.

[6] Applying in former Eastern and Northern States of Nigeria.

[7] Promotes (but regulates) testamentary freedom (i.e. freedom to make a will). E.g. See Section 3 and 9.

Isochukwu

Quite eccentric really

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