5 Modes of Acquiring Land Title or ownership in Nigeria

A claim to ownership of land may be established in any of the five main ways laid down by the Supreme court in Idundun v. Okumagba as follows:

1) By traditional evidence in the form of traditional history.

2) By production of documents of title which must be duly authenticated in the sense that their due execution must be proved, unless they are produced from proper custody in the circumstances giving rise to the presumption in favour of the execution in the case of documents 20 years old or more at the date.

3) Acts of persons claiming the land such as selling, leasing or renting out all or part of the land, or farming on it or on portion of it, provided the acts extend over a sufficient length of time and are numerous and positive enough as to warrant the inference that the person is the true owner.

4) Acts of long possession and enjoyment of the land.

5) Proof of possession of connected or adjacent land, in circumstances rendering it probable that the owner of such connected or adjacent land would in addition, be the owner of the land in dispute.

A party seeking declaration of title will fail unless he adduces evidence to prove one of the five main sources of title above.

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