By Akintayo Abodunrin
A review of Dr Simeon O. Oni’s book, Nigerian Land and Property Law by Professor.
I must commend the author, Dr Simeon O. Oni, for coming up with the latest position of the law in a very dispassionate manner. The problem with land and property law is that there is the customary land law that deals with the customs and traditions of Nigerians before the advent of the English colonialism and this traditional customs vary from one locality to the other and some of these customs difficult to explain, while the received English law and interventions of Nigerian legislature also mixed together and practiced.
These made land and property law difficult to understand and explain; in fact, land law is the cause of many students’ failure rate at the undergraduate level in Nigerian universities. The author beautifully and brilliantly explains the different positions of the law and simplified the most difficult positions that are most difficult for students of law who had to struggle to understand and pass the compulsory land law.
Chapter one explains the historical development of Nigerian Land Law with introduction of Land Use Act, the advent of the common law and analysis of the maxim quid plantatur solo solo cedit and important concepts explained.
Chapter two discusses the Land Tenure System, explaining the meaning of land tenure system. The author merges the customary land system and English concept of fee simple absolute in possession, customary tenancy and other related concepts.
Chapter three explains Land ownership, ownership concepts and acquisition of land, both customary and English concept.
Chapter four explains the Concept of Rights of Non-owner over land of another. The author is able to explain the concept of Easement and profit a Pendre. These are English concepts that most Land law teachers now avoid teaching.
Chapter five fully explains Customary land tenure system; this includes full discussion of family and individual land holding under Native law and custom in Nigeria.
Chapter six discusses Leases and tenancies and licenses, while chapter seven focuses on Mortgages.
The eighth chapter is a concise and extended discussion of the law on Land Use Act registration of title, while chapter 11 explains Wills and Codicils and Power of Attorney.
The book is a great academic discourse, a work of research and all practitioners, students and teachers of law should have a copy.
- Nigerian Tribune