Daily Law Tips (Tip 486) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)
DOES THE NEW LAW ALLOW PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION, WHEN LAND IS TAKEN FOR CUSTODIAL CENTERS (PRISONS) IN NIGERIA
All lands in Nigeria, belong to government. Government can grant rights of occupancy and certificates of occupancy (not ownership) to individuals that are 18 years old or above as well as to corporate beings. This is among the reasons that government does not pay compensation for land, when taking back its land rather will pay compensation on developments on such lands.
Although, owning property in any part of Nigeria, is a fundamental human right of any person in Nigeria, government can compulsorily acquire any land in Nigeria, for pubic use. This includes for the establishment and operation of a Correctional Center (Prisons). The Land Use Act has set down procedure that government must follow when compulsorily acquiring any land. And, the Nigerian Correctional Services Act has also added that such procedure must include due process in relation to consultation and payment of appropriate compensation.
My authorities are;
1. Section 9 (4) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
2. Section 1, 5, 28, 29 and 35 of the Land Use Act, 1978.
3. Sections 43, 44, 45 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
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