When Properties Can Be Demolished Without Compensation In Any Part Of Nigeria

When Properties Can Be Demolished Without Compensation In Any Part Of Nigeria

When Properties Can Be Demolished Without Compensation In Any Part Of Nigeria.  Daily Law Tips (Tip 332) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

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.

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.


Feel free to reach the author, ask questions or make inquiries on this topic or any other legal issues via onyekachi.umah@gmail.com or +2348037665878.


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3 Responses

  1. Dear Sir,

    I came here through some research on law governing demolition of buildings. I reside in Abuja and find it ridiculous that the FG can demolish buildings questionably proclaimed as illegal. I reside in a village where the Gbagis are recognized by the FG. I stay within the confines of the landmass recognized as the residential and farming areas of the Gbagis. Shockingly, a demolition exercise is now ongoing in which the FG claims that any non-indigene within the community must have their buildings demolished, while only the indigenes are spared. Isn’t this stance discriminatory? As long as the non-indigenes didn’t build in territories outside the recognized domain of the Gbagis, why must these non-indigene properties only be demolished?

    And it was the indigenes who, with letterhead papers, stamped and signed, sold part of their ancestral land to the non-indigenes, some of whom approached government agencies to verify and get these documents further processed, but to no avail–only because government officials gave diverse and conflicting instructions on this land processing exercise, to the non-indigenes. It must be of note here that government officials assured some of the non-indigenes, upon inquiries, that local land of the indigenes can be legally processed. Demolitions have very well taken place in Abuja but most times the guilty ones are those who build on other people’s, agencies and companies’ land. This time around, the FG has deliberately set out to just victimise non-indigenes for choosing to build within territories of the indigenes. How can the law be used to protect these non-indigenes, Sir?

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