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21 Jan

HOW TO REGULARISE OR RATIFY LAND ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO PREVENT DEMOLITION

If you have previously purchased land from Omo-onile that does not have either a (C/O) or a Gazette in the following areas: 

Ikeja, Opebi, Ogudu, Gbagada, Oregun, Surulere, Anthony, Obanikoro, Adekunle Village, Isolo, Okota, Ilasamaja, Ijeshatedo, Ojota, Bariga, Iju, Olowora, Isheri, Shangisha, Oworonsoki and environs, Ojo, Ikotun, Egbe, Ejigbo, Shasha, Akowonjo, Okokomaiko, Owode Onirin, Idimu, Egbeda and environs. 

Ayobo, Ipaja, Igando, Alagbado, Mebamu, Ajangbadi and environs, I have good and bad news. 

For residents of Ikorodu, Badagry Axis, Lekki Axis (Eti-Osa to Abijo), Ibeju Lekki to Epe and Epe Town who have not been able to acquire a valid land title, the bad news is that the Omo-onile has conned you into buying government-owned lands under the guise of their own family lands, causing you to give them your money illegally and without proper title because they never had any land to give or sell in the first place.

The good news is that the Lagos state government has decided not to demolish these houses or revoke those lands that have been encroached upon by Purchasers of this Bad Lands from Omo-onile, but will instead grant these Purchasers title. Those who unwittingly purchased government-acquired land from Omo-onile or land scammers would be able to regularize their titles and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) through a process known as Ratification, also known as RAT or RATI ( now referred to as Regularization). 

WHAT IS RATIFICATION OR LAND REGULARISATION IN LAGOS STATE? 

According to the Land Bureau website, Ratification (now known as Regularisation) is a policy of grace that allows squatters on uncommitted Government Land to obtain legal title to the land from the State Government. It is the process of allotting government land to a person who unlawfully occupied land without permission from the state government. Regularization is contingent on two (2) fundamental conditions: 

  • The property cannot be located in a government program, estate, or restricted zone; and 
  • The property must be located in a zone that complies with the State’s Urban and Regional Planning regulations and standards. Your land will not be regularized if it does not comply with Regional and Urban Planning Regularization. 

This means that Omo-oniles has contributed greatly to the sales of very poor lands that belong to the government to unsuspecting purchasers who did not conduct a proper search before purchasing their lands, and because the lands purchased were defective from the beginning, it will be very difficult to process your papers at the Land Registry at Alausa because they are illegal lands that should not have been purchased from Omo-oniles and the government has every right to seize them. Lands under Government acquisition are Lands on which the government intends to build estates, drainages, roads, government schemes, pipelines, high tensions, bad layouts, and any other land or property that does not comply with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning Regulations. These are examples of Bad Lands purchased from Omo-oniles. 

Due to the sale of these Bad Lands, it has been extremely difficult for the purchasers of these lands to get even a simple survey plan approved or filed with the Surveyor-General’s office, to say nothing of owning a Certificate of Occupancy (C/O) or an approved building plan or the legal right to claim ownership of the land. This population lives in daily dread of imminent demolition or revocation. 

HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BUYING LAND ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND COMMITTED LANDS TO DETERMINE WHICH CAN BE REGULARISED

Before moving on, it is necessary to explain two concepts that impact the issue of Ratification or Regularization, namely the distinction between owning lands under Government Acquisition and Committed Lands. 

A land under government acquisition is land acquired by the government for its own specific use, and there are immediate plans for these lands based on what the government intends to do with the land. These lands have been acquired by the government over many years, and it is at the government’s discretion to release them to those who illegally purchased the land from the Omo-oniles, depending on whether they need to use the land for a specific purpose and whether the release of these acquired lands to the people will disrupt regional or urban planning regulations. 

Meanwhile a Committed Land is land for which the government already has Plans and for which the government will not change its mind under any circumstances. 

Such lands include those designated for government estates, roads, and government programs, among others. In actuality, if you purchase land in a committed Area, you are on your own, as they will never approve the paperwork, and if you construct a home there, it will be demolished. Purchasing land in a Committed Area is a surefire way to lose your home, as it will be demolished without fail. 

As a result of these problems with landowners who purchased land illegally from the dreaded Omo-oniles under Government Acquisition, the Lagos state government decided to take an inventory of all illegal structures erected in areas under Government acquisition and endorsed a decision that all illegal structures erected on Land under Government acquisition that were not blocking roads, drainage, or were not located in Committed Areas would be allowed to process their claims. 

The process of ratification and regularization of land ownership within non-committed government acquisition was conceived as a result of the decision to approve the process of acquiring papers for land under government acquisition. Today, the Land Registry in Alausa refers to the process as Regularization instead of Ratification. In other words, regularization is the process by which illegal owners of lands in areas acquired by the government that are not committed lands are given the opportunity to obtain a legal title to the encroached or trespassed land from the State Government. To simplify, it refers to the process of allotting government land to a person who previously occupied a landed property without lawful authorization from the State Government, subject to seven conditions: 

  1. The property cannot be in a Government Scheme, Estate, or Committed area. 
  2. The Property must be located in an Area that complies with the State’s Urban and Regional Planning Regulations and Standards. 
  3. The Land’s Appropriate Setback must be observed. 
  4. Appropriate distances from drainages, canals, NNPC pipelines, gas pipelines, NEPA transformers, high tension wires, water pipelines, and other restrictions stipulated by Physical Planning and Town Planning. Purchasing land in close proximity to a High Tension Wire or NNPC Pipeline is a certain way to have your home demolished and not Regularized.
  5. The land cannot encroach on the road alignment. 
  6. The property cannot be located within a Committed Government Area. 
  7. The Land must be located within one of the Permitted Regularization Areas. 

It has been extended to include areas without development schemes/layout plans as well as areas without Unplanned Developments. Such areas include Okota, Ketu, Ikorodu, and Badagry, among others. 

Therefore, if you have purchased land that violates these seven conditions, you are to blame because you failed to conduct a proper land search. Your land will either be revoked or the house built on it will be demolished. Therefore, open your eyes before one Omo-onile tells you that he has the authority to sign your documents and the right to sell you land in the aforementioned areas and many more that we do not yet know about. You will almost certainly pay the Lagos state government double the amount you paid Omo-oniles for it illegally. Always conduct land verification searches prior to transferring illegal funds. 

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