This is a document that records and states the areas the government has willingly given to the family and community to sell and that the government will not acquire it for what so ever reason except it duly notifies the world. The major characteristics of a gazette on provide 2 things.
- The Area e.g Ilupeju
- The coordinates e.g the Beacon Numbers that separates where the Land given to the family starts and stops. This is Known as an Excision. That means in a whole portion of land lets say 10 PLOTS, Government has excised 4 to the family and has taken 6 plots for its own use. Those 4 Plots will now be documented in a book form known as a Gazette. Its the Coordinates you will get to know where the 4 plots start and ends. You can never know with a unclothed Eye!
Now the danger of the Gazette that i have seen in my experience is that people, who see the gazette, jump up and down and accept it whole line and sinker and proceed to pay to the family because that area is listed in the gazette and they believe that area is free. Thats very wrong and dangerous.
It is only an Alausa Surveyor that can come to that gazetted area, map out the coordinates and tell you precisely whether your property falls inside the gazette or not. I have seen places where people purchased the lands that are outside the gazetted excision and still believe they are inside the gazetted excision coordinates. I have seen lazy lawyers and surveyors who wont take that time and patience to verify this one particular issue. I have seen fake gazettes with fake coordinates and worst of all i have seen people pay hard earned cash for those places that are most certainly going to be demolished.
Never ever play with a Government Gazette. They know why they documented it for you to see and if you refuse to follow those rules, you will heavily dealt with.
Certificate of Occupancy, Government Allocation, Governors Consent:
These 3 are the dream lands or properties you can buy from with no stress or wahala what so ever. Any property that has any of the 3 is a very Good property to buy and to search them in Alausa is very easy because the records are there. In most situations, i will encourage you to look for properties that have a Global C/O, Private Certificate of Occupancy, Government Allocation or Governors Consent. Its so easy to perfect your papers in Future and your most likely in Most situations going to get compensated from the Government in case anything goes wrong if they attempt to acquire it or query it.
The only problems i have seen is that most properties or lands with a C/O, Government consent or Government allocation letter are quite expensive because of the paper work that has been done thoroughly by the present seller and it almost eliminates omonile from the transaction in most cases. So because the owners know that they have correct papers, they market and sell their properties quite high too because they are selling you gold. But then again you need your lawyer to help you negotiate favourably to make sure the property becomes yours.
The second problem is the issue of fake C/Os, Government Allocation Letters and Governors Consent. In my experience i have seen more than enough fake documents and these agents or omoniles would be so bold enough to dare you to go and check it in Alausa. They will so brain wash you and brag about its validity that you might be tempted to take their word for it but when you decide to go and search it in Alausa, you will find out that it doesnt exist and when you go back to challenge them, you hear new stories and unbelievable song and dance stories that you would almost want to puke.
Always demand for the Document to do the search. Dont listen to their stories. If they go as far as saying they wont release the C/O or Governors consent due to security risks, ask them for the number alone and the rest will be investigated. Dont compromise and get hoodwinked. Its the way they get their bread and butter. You fall for the scam, your on your own.
. Survey Plan:
This to me is the most important document From the start you must ask for from the omonile, agent or family that intends to sell the land/property to you. This survey plan is what i would carry to the Land Bureau to go and do a geographical search on first. No matter how cheap or beautiful or strategically located a land or property is, once that property has been discovered to be designated for Government use in future, there is no point going any futher to purchase it. It will be a very foolish risk to attempt to defile the government and say nothing would happen, at least there are so many houses around or so many people have bought their own and nothing has happened.
Well for those who are conversant with Uncle Fashola’s no nonsense approach in maintaining the master plan of Lagos, once your property is within that area that has being designated for Future Government use, no matter how long maybe its in the year 2023, the plan must be carried out accordingly and your property will go down without any form of compensation because you failed to do the right thing by throwing caution to the wind. Examples include the 8 Lane Dual Carriage Way in Badagry that all the houses that were on that land were demolished, All the houses in Alimosho local Government that were near pipe lines, The ones in Idiroko, The houses in ijegun etc! In fact remind me of the ones you know.
Also in Lekki Ajah, its even worse because there are some areas that have been specially acquired by the government for over 20 years and its just now that the government is trying to recover its lands. These areas is what is known as COMMITTED LANDS. Once an area has been designated as Committed, it is the ultimate no go area abeg. Thats where they committ the area for Road expansion, future government estates or Government Reserved areas For Major Developments. As long as that Property is designated as Committed or under acquistion, it is only the Government of the day that can revoke it and anybody buying into those areas are buying at their own mega risk. Dont for once look at the houses around there as your guide to mean the government cannot demolish those houses, you would be shocked that the owners have 4 or 5 houses and can do away with that one and poor people like me and you that have no mouth to fight government will just be rendered homeless because of our stuborness to buy at all cost there.
Remember you know where the shoe pinches and how much you have in your pocket. This is 2010. Plan to save more money than to throw it away foolishly. wink
The other option from Government is that if they choose not to demolish your house because it is sited on a committed land, they will end up giving you the option to come and pay Ratification. Ratification in this sense means your going to pay Government the full price and taxes it determines to be the cost of that place and its non negotiable. So imagine you bought the land in 2005 for N2Million in a committed area and in 2010, you now have to pay ratification also known as “Rat” at the cost of N5Million to the Government. Does that make any financial sense to you? Imagine all the fears, rumours, prayers that you would be going through so that those caterpillars dont come your way and when they decide not to demolish, they now ask you to pay Ratification, triple or quadruple the amount you bought it and remember the Omonile or Agent you bought it from is no where to be found and if Found, would not in this life time refund or assist you in any way.
Finally another advantage of the Survey Search is that if the land has been designated for Agricultural Purpose, you would know in advance. Its is mostly prevalent in Ikorodu, Badagry and Growing Rural Areas that are just cropping up. Buying into a place designated for Agric is a major no-no! Except you Want Your immediate neighbours to be Cows, Fisheries and probably Obasanjo’s Chicken farmers! Unless it has been designated for Residential or Mixed Development Avoid it please.
The summary is that the Survey Plan Search saves you alot of head ache at first before you even move ahead. And once you meet an Omonile or Agent who is extremely difficult with you in terms of not providing the survey plan on demand for search please my brothers and sisters, walk away quietly. The signs are already there for you to know your about to be scammed. A survey plan is a public document and not a private cheque book, so you shouldnt be bamboozled by people who tell you that the owner doesnt want to release it because of security reasons. Trust me there is no reason. As long as he is ready to sell, that is the first thing you get from them to know your status before proceeding.
The Deed of Assignment or Conveyance:
This is the second most important document you need to do a personal search. A deed of conveyance or assignment traces the history of how the property or land has reached the present owner till date. It relates all the information in respect of the true owners of the land before it was passed to Mr A and How MR A sold it to Mr B and How Mr B intend to sell it to you. With that document, you can trace in most respect the original families to find out if there is any dispute as to the ownership of the land how it has been transfered. It is extremely important to trace the original source of the land because its there you know if the land actually has been duly transfered to the present owner. It is here you get to know of if there is any family dispute and some families are still quarreling over the true ownership of the land. It is there you tend to get the family names to go and do a thorough search in court or Alausa to know of any lingering dispute. Its here you get to know the hanky panky the present owner intends to play when he begins to tell you rooster and bull stories so that you pay for the land immediately.
Never fall for this trick. Ask for a copy of the deed if they have one and hand it over to your lawyer for a through search on the family. To be honest this is the most difficult search of them all and it takes the special grace of God to make sure you come out unscathered.
Ways the present owner can decieve you includes:
- Presenting a false person to Assume the identity of the Original family so as to pretend that he or she sold it to the family 20 years ago
- Telling you that the family is non existent anymore or they have moved away from that vicinity
- Telling you all the family members have died
- Coercing you that you dont need to meet the family because since it has been sold to him, he is the rightful person to sell to you.
This number 4 is a bloody lie and there is a reason which i wont mention here why this particular reason shouldnt stand at all and i can only disclose that in confidence based on the legality of it and the possible back door approach that Alausa frowns upon especially when your perfecting your papers tomorrow.
Bottom line, the deed of assignment is a major search instrument to know the how, why and when of the property you buying and it is very very stressful. So either be prepared to do all the walking, CID/FBI investigations or give your property lawyer on your behalf.
I hope you now know why search is not cheap!!! They say Good soup na money kill am or Penny Wise pound foolish. Because once you fail to get the real identity of the true family owners, your money has been sunk into the whitest of all elephant projects you can dream of, so be more vigilant,