DAILY LAW TIPS (Tip 332) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)
*WHEN PROPERTIES CAN BE DEMOLISHED WITHOUT COMPENSATION IN ANY PART OF NIGERIA.*
Both Nigerians and foreigners as well as businesses have constitutional rights to buy, own or sell properties in any part of Nigeria. And, no government can compulsorily acquire, demolish or take over any properties in any part of Nigeria, without compensation, except on some conditions, like where property is in a dangerous state or is injurious to man, animals or plants.
Generally, a property can be demolished by Control Department of an Urban and Regional Planning Board of any government where such property is defective and can pose danger or constitute nuisance to the occupier or the public. Clearly, the few instances, where a property can be demolished by Federal or State or Local Government or its Planning Board/Authority, are:
1. Where property was built contrary to the terms and conditions of a development permit/approval
2. Where right of occupancy of the land on which a property is built has been cancelled or revoked for non compliance with the requirements of the Land Use Act, 1978. Like issues of illegal change of purpose of use, prohibited transactions and non payment of rents/taxes among others.
3. Claim for compensation was made within 28 days after a notice of revocation was served on the developer/owner.
4. Where it is the opinion of government, that any person, has contravened an existing scheme. In this case, the Land and building as well as any goods or even furniture on such land may be forfeited, too.
My authorities are
1. Sections 43(2), 61, 76(3) and 92 of Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act, 1992 and similar laws across states in Nigeria.
2. Sections 28(5) and 52 of the Land Use Act, 1978.
3. Sections 43, 44, 45 and 319 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
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