1. Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)
  2. Governor’s Consent
  3. Excision
  4. Gazette
  5. Survey Plan

Now let’s discuss these titles one after the other but please note that a survey plan is NOT a title document.

  1. C of O: Certificate of Occupancy is a Government lease granted to the first legal title holder of a property. Remember that all lands belong to the government therefore if you have an unregistered land, it means the first title you will process on the land is a C of O. Please note that a C of O is only granted once on a piece of land therefore you cannot have two C of O’s on a land. A C of O is granted for a maximum period of 99 years for a defined purpose i.e., housing, education, farming, e.t.c,. Title reverts to the Government after 99 years if the lease is not renewed.
  2. Governors Consent: It is simply explained as a title granted to a purchaser who has furnished consideration for a piece of land owned by a holder of a C of O. Recall your vendor was granted 99 years on his c of o, your vendor assigns his unexpired term out of the 99 years to you through an instrument called a deed of assignment. The instrument will undergo the perfection procedure where the Governor will be required to give his consent to the transaction between you and your vendor. This implies that the Government is now aware that the lease granted to your vendor has been transferred to you. Once you have obtained consent on your Deed of Assignment, the title you hold is called a Governor’s Consent.
  3. Excision: The word excise means to remove a part from a whole. When the Government acquires a large expanse of land belonging to a village or community and the Government ‘gives’ back a faction of the land to the village, it means the Government has excised the concerned area to the village so what you have is an excision. For example, the Government acquires 20 hectares from a village and excise 10 hectares, the villagers will have excision on the 10 hectares only. Excision details are generally documented in the Government’s official gazette. If a family cannot show you their excision details in any gazette, then do not bother yourself on further enquiries on the land.
  4. Gazette: You might have heard people say they have a Gazette on a particular property and wonder what it is. A gazette is a record book of the Government where some kinds of information are documented. A gazette usually shows details of excision already granted to a village or community. Such details include the name of the village, volume of hectares or acres, coordinates of the land and other info. A gazette is an evidence that an excision has been granted to a particular village or community. If a vendor claims his title is an excision, get the coordinates of the land and get a copy of the gazette, if the coordinates does not fall within the coordinates quoted in the gazette then you may most likely be looking at a fraudster.
  5. Survey: A survey plan is a document showing the area of interest in a land transaction. It comprises of the name of the vendor, size of the land, beacon numbers, address of the land, boundaries e.t.c,. A survey can either be registered or provisional. A survey is NOT a title document so do not rely on it as an instrument of transfer.

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