Journal of African Law

Research Article

Alienations Under the Land Use Act and Express Declarations of Trust in Nigeria

Remigius N Nwabueze*


Nigerian conveyancers routinely resort to powers of attorney and agreements to sell (estate contracts) as tools to avoid the prohibitory clauses of the Land Use Act. Judges have shown their sympathy through a strict (but beneficial) construction. Nevertheless, the current system exacerbates the risk of acquiring precarious titles in land transactions. Accordingly, this article suggests that the avoidance objective will be best achieved through the application of the principles of trust and the use of trust instruments such as express written declarations of trust.


* SJD (Toronto). Lecturer in property (equity and trusts) and intellectual property law, School of Law, University of Southampton, UK. Many thanks to the Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences, University of Southampton, for generously funding the research and writing of this article through the Adventures in Research Scheme. I also thank Sarah Nield, Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton, for reading and commenting on the initial draft of this article. I am thankful for the very helpful comments of the anonymous reviewers and the research resources generously provided by James C Ezike. The usual disclaimers apply.