Why would an individual be issued a receipt for arguably the most important acquisition in his life and yet he’s not presented with one of the most consequential documents in land ownership?
A lot of people make this mistake in their desperate bid to acquire land in the most populous black nation in the world. You may want to attribute this to ignorance or is it the excitement that envelopes them as the reality of owning land dawns on them? In their euphoria, they are fed with lies and placed under undue pressure by the omonile to part with their high-earned money. They buy a property without really buying it in the actual sense because the transaction had little or no form of legality when even the so called ‘omonile’ is not the actual owner.
A lot of Nigerians have fallen for this property scam in a country where affordable housing is not affordable. They cry blue murder when they had actually murdered their own happiness with their lopsided actions. Many of them are actually the architects of their own misfortune.
That brings us to this question; What is a deed of assignment?
A deed of assignment is any legal instrument in print which validates the agreement between the seller of a land or property and the buyer of that land or property. This legal evidence of property transaction that affirms or confirms the interest or right to own a landed property is signed, attested, delivered and in some jurisdiction sealed. The person or seller who transfers his rights or interests in that property is usually called the Assignor and the person who receives such right or interest from the seller is called the Assignee.
A Deed of Assignment therefore is an agreement where an assignor states his promise that from the date of the assignment or any date stipulated therein, the assignor assigns his ownership in that land to the assignee. The deed contains very pertinent information for a real estate transaction. For one, it spells out the date when the ownership of the property transfers from one owner to the other. The deed also gives a specific description of the property that is included in the transfer of ownership. Mostly, the banter between the buyer and the seller of the property in question in the form of the deed of assignment has to be recorded in the land registry to show legal proof and to bring to the notice of all and sundry that the property has exchanged hands.
The delicate nature of transactions that deals with landed properties especially that involving any omonile makes the issuance of receipt for such important transaction null and void, hence a deed of assignment remains a veritable tool in binding the owner to the property. This is to avoid the confusion, assumption and waging war that ensues after the property has been transferred to the new owner.
The deed of assignment which can come in the form of a governor’s consent or registered conveyance must or should include: the names of the people to the agreement, the origin and history of the land in relation to the transfer or ownership chain from the specified period it was obtained till the present day of sale. This document should also signify the addresses of both parties involved in the transaction and how such is binding to all concerned, which includes, successors, friends, colleagues and their representatives in any capacity. The readiness, willingness and approval of the seller to give away the land at the agreed cost should also be indicated.
Also, the description and size of the land to be transferred, the signature of the parties to the Assignment and Witnesses to the Transaction among other things should be noted. Finally the section for the Commissioner of Oaths or Governors Consent to sign and validate the agreement.
These are the important features of a Deed of Assignment and must be included in all Documents for it to be valid.
Therefore, beware of a fake omonile who would issue just a receipt for a property as important as land and worse still in the absence of other family members. Don’t be a victim of shoddy land deals where several people lay claim to a single landed property.
Land swindlers come up with several tricks to dupe unsuspecting sometimes suspecting victims. These tricks come in various human form; they could bring unidentified people to pose as family members, tell you their family members died in the biafran war of 1967 or that he was the only survivor of the Dana airline plane crash that killed all on board including his six siblings and parents.
So, make sure you do all your CSI investigations and ensure that all land baggage come out in the open before you commit yourself to any transaction involving landed properties
Bottom line, always consult a property lawyer before you buy a land to help prepare a deed of assignment. It will be your greatest mistake if you don’t have one.
Don’t throw your money into a land of ball and chain, take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.