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Governor’s Consent: The Facts & The Must-Knows

Posted by Admin_Josephine on December 7, 2020
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This is part  of The Property Document Series with Gumbull- a series where we demystify property documents as regards land and houses in Africa. In the last post, we discussed the C of O, in this post, we will be discussing the Governor’s Consent.

In the last post , we gave a brief introduction to the C of O (Certificate of Occupancy). As a linear progression, in this post we will be talking about Governor’s Consent.

If you have not read the post about the CofO, please go ahead and read it .

So what is a Governor’s Consent?

Governor’s consent simply refers to the approval of the Governor of a  State in Nigeria of any transaction relating to a  land or property. Consent is often required for the perfection of any land transaction.

In the last post, we have established that the first occupant/owner  of a land is entitled to the Cof O. We however pointed out the fact that according to section 22 of the Land Use Act, that Cof O can not be replicated without “Prior Consent of the Governor”. This is where the Governor’s Consent comes in. Every time the land changes hands, each new owner needs to get a Governor’s consent.

Why Should You Obtain the Governor’s Consent?

To  perfect your ownership of a land, you need to obtain your governor’s consent.This is because only the person with the most up to date Governor’s consent can lay claim on a land.

Even when it comes to mortgages- you need a Governor’s Consent according to law. Indeed Section 26 of the Land Use Act states  that where the requisite consent is not obtained in a mortgage transaction, the transaction is null and void and has no legal backing. This is why the Governor’s consent is critical of great importance to mortgage transactions.

The biggest mistake you can make is to buy a land with a CofO in someone else’s name and relax thinking all is sorted out.If the seller is a fraudulent individual and goes ahead to sell the land to someone else who pursues and obtains a Governor’s consent, that person- in the sight of the law -is deemed the lawful owner of the property no matter the evidence you tender.

So Who Applies for the Governor’s Consent? 

The Assignee/ the buyer.

What is the difference between the Governor’s Consent and The Deed of Assignment

The Deed of Assignment is simply a document that shows the details of the transfer of a property from the Vendor(Seller) to the purchaser. It contains all the important information about the transaction- from the date of the transaction to the description of the property. This document is usually prepared by a legal practitioner and is executed by both the vendor and the purchaser with witnesses present This is very much different from the Governor’s consent. 

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