WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATUTORY RIGHT OF OCCUPANCY AND CUSTOMARY RIGHT OF OCCUPANCY.

The types of right of occupancy that you should know and their differences.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

2/18/2022 2 min read

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATUTORY ROC AND CUSTOMARY ROC

Customary right of occupancy is defined as “the right of a person or community lawfully using or occupying land in accordance with customary law and includes a customary right of occupancy granted by a Local Government under this Decree.”

Statutory right of occupancy is also defined as “a right of occupancy granted by the Military Governor under this Decree.”

The major difference between a statutory right of occupancy and a customary right of occupancy is that the former relates to lands in urban areas while the latter relates to lands in rural areas.

What is a customary right of occupancy?

It is a right of occupancy expressly granted by a local government authority to persons in respect of land within its localities, which are not designated as an urban area by the State Government, for the purpose of agricultural use, residential and other purposes. Customary right of occupancy can either be expressly granted or a deemed grant. The right of occupancy so grant by a Local Government authority is an express grant of customary right of occupancy. While a deemed right of occupancy is enjoyed by people, communities and families who have been holding their title under customary law before the commencement of the Act. A customary right of occupancy includes the right of a person or community lawfully using or occupying land in accordance with customary law.

Statutory right of occupancy

The rights conferred on a holder of a Statutory right of occupancy include:

1. Exclusive rights to the land, which is enforceable against all persons except the governor of the state where the land is situated. (s. 14)

2. Sole right to absolute possession of all improvements on the land. (s. 15a).

3. Right to transfer, assign and mortgage any improvement on the land subject to the provisions of the act. (s. 15b)

4. Right to be compensated in the event the land is acquired by the governor for public purposes. (s. 29(1))

Section 9 of the Land Use Act,1978 provides that a certificate which shall be termed "certificate of occupancy" can be issued upon payment to any person under the hand of the governor as evidence of a right of occupancy over the said land.

The issuance of this certificate confers on the holder a statutory right of occupancy. This right could either be express or deemed grant. It is express where the certificate is issued under the hand of the governor to a named person. However, to cater for lands owned by people before the commencement of the act, section 34 states that such persons upon the commencement of the act are deemed to have been granted a right of occupancy over said land.

With regards to the status of a certificate of occupancy, it has been held by the supreme court in a number of cases that it only serves as prima facie evidence of title or possession to land but not conclusive proof of same. Therefore, a holder of a certificate of occupancy is presumed to have the exclusive right of occupancy over the land to which it relates until proven otherwise.

 

WRITTEN BY: CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

E-MAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com / info.chamanlawfirm.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080