So many Academicians, Lawyers and Intellectuals have tried to define what a Governor’s Consent is and they end up confusing simple minded men like me with their Big Big Grammar, so am going to attempt to do the impossible by breaking its meaning down and how it operates under the law.
A simple formula to follow is this. The first person on a Virgin Land that has neither been occupied by another person nor under acquisition by the Government is entitled to get a Certificate of Occupancy on that land.
If that person with the C of O decides to sell his land to another person after so many years, that person must now obtain the Consent of the Governor before that transaction can be deemed legal in the eyes of the Government. If the new buyer now decides to sell the land again to a third owner in future, that Third owner must also obtain a new Consent of the Governor before that transaction can be deemed legal in the eyes of the Government and the process continues every time the property changes hands to a new buyer.
In other words, the first person on a land is the only person or group of persons entitled to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. Every subsequent buyer of that land must get a Governor’s consent. There can only be one (1) Owner of the Certificate of Occupancy on that Land and it will not be replicated for another person once the land has been sold or transferred to another person.
The powers of the Governor to Consent to such transactions can be found in Section 22. Of the LAND USE ACT 1978 as amended which states thus:
“It shall not be lawful for the holder of a statutory right of occupancy granted by the Governor to alienate his right of occupancy or any part thereof by assignment, mortgage, transfer of possession, sublease or otherwise howsoever without the consent of the Governor first had and obtained”
With this power, the Governor has the right to grant consent to any transaction which it thinks has not contravened any Law of the land and if the consent has been obtained fraudulently, the Governor is entitled to revoke such consent immediately.
It is very important for a purchaser of land to perfect his or her document by obtaining a Governors consent so as to have a complete rest of mind. Although its good to buy a land that already has a Global C of O or the Land has a Gazette, it still doesn’t give you the full satisfaction that you own the land without any form of fear or intrusion by the Omoniles. Your documents have not been perfected and the consent of the Governor to that transaction has not been obtained.
It’s because of this situation whereby the Omoniles know that purchasers of land do not want to spend money to get their Governors Consent that they will begin to resell people’s lands to multiple buyers because they know it’s only the purchaser that perfects his title by obtaining the Governors consent that can lay claim to that land validly in the eyes of the law.
That’s why I encourage people who buy lands to immediately start the process of obtaining Governors consent after they have bought a land and a Deed of Assignment has been drawn up. Delay has been shown to be very fatal and we should learn from the past experiences of others who have fallen victim to this situation.
Disadvantages and Problems of Getting a Governors Consent
Obtaining a Governors Consent from the Land Bureau isn’t the easiest thing to get quickly despite the importance attached to it and urgency needed to secure a land from Omoniles. On the Government website, it is stated that a Governors Consent can be obtained in 30 days but that has proven to be very untrue due to unscrupulous civil servants who would do everything to frustrate the process of obtaining the document without giving them huge kickbacks. A Governors consent that should cost N200,000 naturally could end up costing N600,000 Due to kickbacks, Egunje, Bribes, P.R etc and that 30 days could translate to 6months or a Year depending on how you sort your P.R well.
All in all, a Governors Consent is a very good document to obtain and I advise you to get it so as to free yourself from Omoniles 100%. An advantage of having a Governor’s consent is that you can transfer your land to another person without going to the Omoniles or Family Baale to sign your deed and Form 1c which are compulsory requirements needed before you can process a Governors consent. The Omoniles pray seriously for the Owner not to have a Governors consent so that they can make a lot of money running into their Thousands when ever the Owner require the signatures of the family to start the Governors consent.
It’s even very tough now for Land Buyers because a major requirement by the government now is that you must Obtain a Governors consent before you obtain a building plan approval. If it takes 6months to a year before they get their Consent. When will the person now get his approval?
Stepping aside the criticism of those in charge of processing the C of O, You should try as much as possible to get a Governors Consent for all your genuine lands so as to eliminate Omoniles completely and live a straight forward life devoid of Omonile wahala.
The Features of Governors Consent must contain the Following:
1. The Form 1c must be signed by the Omonile traditional Family that has either a Gazette or Global C/O or in the case of an Individual that has a private C of O granted to him by the Governor
2. A Deed of Assignment must be prepared by the Buyers lawyer who must include the parties to the transaction, the cost of the land, size of the land description of the land, the copy of the survey attached to it and signature of all the parties and witnesses to the transaction.
3. The Consent will be heavily stamped from the beginning to the end and upon completion and payment of the requisite fees, the Governor or his representatives such as the Commissioners will sign and date the Consent and stamp it with their official Seal.
4. The land bureau after that will assign a Consent number to that document for reference purpose for life and its with this Consent number, your documents will be registered and recorded in their archives for future references.
Always contact your property Lawyer experienced in property Law to guide you on obtaining a Governors Consent.