How to Regularize or Ratify that your Land Under Government Acquisition so that it won’t be Demolished

Idimu Demolition 038_opt
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If you have bought lands from Omonile in the past that do not have either a ( C/O) or a Gazette in the following areas Ikeja, Opebi, Ogudu, Gbagada, Oregun, Surulere, Anthony, Obanikoro, Adekunle Village.Isolo, Okota, Ilasamaja, Ijeshatedo, Ojota, Bariga, Iju, Olowora, Isheri, Shangisha, Oworonsoki and environs, Ojo, Ikotun, Egbe, Ejigbo, Shasha, Akowonjo, Okokomaiko, Owode Onirin, Idimu, Egbeda and environs.Ayobo, Ipaja, Igando, Alagbado, Mebamu, Ajangbadi and environs, Ikorodu, Badagry Axis, Lekki Axis (Eti-Osa to Abijo), Ibeju Lekki to Epe & Epe Town and you haven’t been able to get a proper document for your land, I have good and bad news for you.

The Bad news is that the Omonile has scammed you to sell lands that belong to the government and masked it as their own family lands hereby making you part with your money illegally and freely to them without any proper title because they didn’t have any land to give and sell in the first place.

The Good news it that the Lagos state government has decided not to demolish such houses or revoke those lands that has been encroached on by Purchasers of this Bad Lands from Omonile and instead will grant title to such Purchasers. This would afford those who unintentionally bought government acquired land from Omonile or land Scammers the opportunity to regularize their titles and thereby obtain Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) through a process called Ratification  Popularly Referred to as ‘RAT or RATI’ ( Now referred to as Regularization).

 Now what really is Ratification or Land Regularization in Lagos state?

According to Land Bureau website “Ratification (now referred to as Regularisation) is a policy of grace that avails squatters on uncommitted Government Land, the opportunity to obtain legal title to the land encroached upon from the State Government. It is the process of allocating Government land to someone who had previously occupied landed property without lawful authority from the State Government”

Regularisation is subject to two (2) basic conditions:

(i) That the property must not be situated in a Government Scheme, Estate or Committed Area; and

(ii) The property must be situated within an area that conforms with Urban and Regional Planning regulations and standards of the State.

If your land doesnt conform with Regional and Urban Planning Regularization it will not be regularized

If your land does not conform with Regional and Urban Planning Regularization it will not be regularized


What this means in plain English is that Omoniles have contributed terribly to the sales of very  bad lands that belongs to the Government to unsuspecting buyers that did not do any proper search before they bought their lands and because the lands purchased were defective from the start it will be very difficult to process your papers at the Land Registry at Alausa because they are illegal lands that shouldn’t have been bought from Omoniles and the Government has every right to come and demolish any structure they find on the land.

Examples of Bad lands people purchased from Omoniles include lands under Government Acquisitions, Lands Government intend to build estates, drainages, roads, Government Schemes, pipelines, high tensions, bad layouts and general lands or property that do not conform with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning Regulations .

Because of the sale of these bad lands, it has been extremely difficult for the purchasers of this lands to get even a simple Survey Plan approved or lodged at the Surveyor General’s office, talk less of owning a Certificate of Occupancy ( C/O) or an Approved Building Plan Or the Right to claim proper Ownership of the Land legally. These people live in constant fear everyday of an impending Demolition or Revocation.

 How to Understand the Differences between purchasing a Land Under Government Acquisition and a Committed Lands so as to know which ones can be Regularized

 It is pertinent here to explain two concepts that affect the issue of Ratification or Regularization before I move on and it has to do with the differences between Owning Lands Under Government Acquisition and Committed Lands.

A Land under Government Acquisition is a land acquired by the Government for its own specific use and there are plans for these lands in the nearest future depending on what the Government intends to do with the land. These lands have been acquired for years by the government and its at the Government’s discretion to release those lands to people who have illegally bought the Land from Omoniles or not depending on if they need to use the lands for a specific purpose or not and if the release of those acquired lands to the people will not disrupt any regional or urban planning regulation.

Meanwhile A Committed Land is a land the Government already has Plans for and nothing in this life will make the Government alter its mind to give up that land. Such lands include lands earmarked for Government estates, Roads, Government Schemes etc. In fact if you buy a land in a committed Area, you’re on your own because they will never approve the papers and if you build a property there, it will most certainly be demolished.

Buying a Land in a Committed Area is a sure banker way to lose your house because it will most certainly be demolished

Buying a Land in a Committed Area is a sure banker way to lose your house because it will most certainly be demolished


So because of these problems of  land owners who bought lands illegally from The Dreaded Omoniles under Government Acquisition, the Lagos state Government decided to take an Inventory of all unlawful structures erected in areas under Government acquisition and endorsed a decision that all prohibited structures erected on Land under Government acquisition which were not blocking roads, drainage and not located in Committed Areas should have the opportunity to process their papers and be granted building plan approvals and also assist the Government to provide for more housing developments for low income earners. This decision of approving the processing of getting their papers in Lands under Government acquisition gave birth to the process of Ratification and Regularization of owning lands within Non committed Government Acquisition.

Today it is now known as Regularization officially at the Land Registry at Alausa instead of Ratification. Regularization in other words is a process whereby illegal owners of lands in areas under Government acquisition that are not Committed lands are given the opportunity to obtain a legal title to the land encroached or trespassed upon from the State Government.

To simplify it, it means the process of allocating Government Land to someone who had previously occupied landed property without lawful authority from the State Government but it is subject to 7 Conditions:

1. That the property must not be situated in a Government Scheme, Estate or Committed area

2. The Property must be situated within an Area that conforms to Urban and Regional Planning Regulations and Standard of the State.

3. The Appropriate Set back of the Land must be observed.

4. The Appropriate distances from drainages, Canals, NNPC pipelines, Gas Pipelines, NEPA transformers, High Tension Wires, Water Pipelines and other restrictions laid down by the Physical Planning and Town Planning.

Buying a land very close to a High Tension Wire or NNPC Pipeline is a sure fire way to get your house demolished and not Regularized

Buying a land very close to a High Tension Wire or NNPC Pipeline is a sure fire way to get your house demolished and not Regularized

5. The land must not fall on road Alignment

6. The land must not fall within a Committed Government Area

7. The Land must fall within the Permitted Regularization Areas

These days it has been extended to areas without development schemes/layout plans and areas without Unplanned Developments. Example of such areas include: Okota, Ketu, Ikorodu, Badagry etc.

So if you have bought a land that runs afoul of these 7 Conditions You have yourself to blame because you refused to do a proper Land Search and your land will either be revoked or the House built on it will most certainly be demolished. So shine your eyes before one Omonile lies to you that he has power to sign your documents and the right to sell lands to you in those areas listed above and many more areas that we dont know about yet. You will most certainly pay Lagos state government double the sum you used to buy it illegally from Omoniles. Always do land verification searches before you part with your money illegally.

P:S: For those coming across the word OMONILE for the first time, it’s a derogatory slang given to Land Speculators and Grabbers who specialize in reselling other people’s lands or duping people off their money under the guise of selling hereditary lands owned by their forefathers.

Barrister Matthew Ottah helps Nigerians avoid being scammed in real estate deals. He once lost a large sum of money to land fraudsters 'Omoniles' when he was still naive about land matters. Now, he's out on a personal vengeful mission to expose Land scam artists in the Nigerian real estate sector and protect your hard earned money.

14 Responses

  1. bey says:

    Barr.u talked about doing a land search before buying from “omoniles” which dept in lands will do d search?and how do u do d search when there is no title doc. But only family receipt like okota family,looking forward to ur reply.thanks

    • Mokson says:

      As for my understand from the little knowledge acquired from Omoonile lawyer I feel you need to make your search even before making any payment so in the first place you shouldn’t have a receipt.

      What you need for search is the land survey and gazette and if the land never has a survey then you should demand from omoonile to provide you the gazette of the land. it will be great if they have both as both can help your search more easier at the land bureau or survey general’s office of the state where your land falls.

      To me omoonile lawyer has done a great job by contributing positively to have a better society in Nigeria and I will always be proud to introduce his website to any friend or family that will need his services.

      Keep going strong, really, really proud of you.

  2. Nnamdi Majesty says:

    So happy to come across this piece. May you live long to rescue many more unsuspecting victims.
    My questions;
    1 how can you conduct a research for land that has no title document but receipt alone?
    2 (a) can a (family) land covered by C of O later fall under Government Acquisition?
    2b if 2a is Yes, what would be the implications or remedies for an unsuspecting developmer that bought the land with the C of O that has been acquired?
    2c, If government Acquires a piece of land already covered by C of O, can a subsequent purchaser register same land?

  3. kay says:

    Lawyer please am planning to buy plots of land at badagry. please what do i need to do so that i will not fall into the hand of omonile? please how can i contact you personally for more guidance? Thanks.

  4. @ Kay, email me privately at and we would proceed from there. Cheers

  5. constance says:

    What happened if someone that called himself honourable, deceived u into buying a land by giving u a c.of o. of a different village to search on, only bc he knew I just arrived in Lagos. D place was free, only to search with my survey plan to realises it was gov’t committed aquisation.

  6. Sade says:


    Is it not funny that of all the questions asked, the only one you respond to is the request to purchase land in Badagry. SMH. I am glad I left the profession. On the other hand, I commend your good work.

    • cathy says:

      Lol.My thoughts exactly.But this learnef colleague sure knows his onions.commendable work!

    • Its not everything you reply to especially when you have explained the issue over and over again.

      Most of the questions asked here have been treated in these blogs and if they check properly the answers are in the article.

      • eyo says:

        ‘Its not everything you reply to especially when you have explained the issue over and over again.’ u are right

  7. Abidemi says:

    Good day sir you well done for the great Job that you are doing. But how can claim my money from Surveyor who sold a government committed land after showing you the survey plan and some other document but the land is under processing.

  8. Bakare Akeem Akintayo says:

    Kudos to you for this great job. Pls I will like to know if the land behind unilag estate at magodo Shangisa, isheri area is a government property. Thanks while anticipated for your reply.

  9. Femi says:

    I have a commercial building on my land at idimu with no C of O. I only recently decided to get a of CFO, pls advise what needs to be done.

  10. David Obugo says:

    Greetings, I have been following your blogs for a while now, I’m actually interested in buying a plot of Land at Agbara very close to Ilashe or ilesha whatever they called the place, it’s close to opic estate and on getting to the said site I noticed most buildings there had a cancelled sign with a text on it that reads OPTP, I made research and found out that it means Opic town planning, the agent told me its a minor thing all I need do is to go the Opic head office and settle them with some fee.. Now my question is do I proceed in buying the land because quite frankly it’s a very good place to have a house , how can I know if this land is legit and free from government acquisition? Please help me on this as I need your advice to go about this . Thanks, as I await your prompt response.

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