Section 44 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Section 44 of the Nigerian Constitution

Section 44 of the constitution of Nigeria is about Compulsory acquisition of property. It is under Chapter IV (Fundamental Rights) of the constitution. Section 44 has three subsections.

  1. (1) No moveable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of
    compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any
    part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law that, among other things –
    (a) requires the prompt payment of compensation
    therefore and
    (b) gives to any person claiming such
    compensation a right of access for the
    determination of his interest in the property and
    the amount of compensation to a court of law or
    tribunal or body having jurisdiction in that part of
    Nigeria.

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as affecting any
    general law.
    (a) for the imposition or enforcement of any tax,
    rate or duty;
    (b) for the imposition of penalties or forfeiture for
    breach of any law, whether under civil process or
    after conviction for an offence;
    (c) relating to leases, tenancies, mortgages,
    charges, bills of sale or any other rights or
    obligations arising out of contracts.
    (d) relating to the vesting and administration of
    property of persons adjudged or otherwise
    declared bankrupt or insolvent, of persons of
    unsound mind or deceased persons, and of
    corporate or unincorporate bodies in the course of
    being wound-up;
    (e) relating to the execution of judgements or
    orders of court;
    (f) providing for the taking of possession of
    property that is in a dangerous state or is
    injurious to the health of human beings, plants or
    animals;
    (g) relating to enemy property;
    (h) relating to trusts and trustees;
    (i) relating to limitation of actions;
    (j) relating to property vested in bodies corporate
    directly established by any law in force in
    Nigeria;
    (k) relating to the temporary taking of possession
    of property for the purpose of any examination,
    investigation or enquiry;
    (l) providing for the carrying out of work on land
    for the purpose of soil-conservation; or
    (m) subject to prompt payment of compensation
    for damage to buildings, economic trees or crops,
    providing for any authority or person to enter,
    survey or dig any land, or to lay, install or erect
    poles, cables, wires, pipes, or other conductors or
    structures on any land, in order to provide or
    maintain the supply or distribution of energy,
    fuel, water, sewage, telecommunication services
    or other public facilities or public utilities.

    (3) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the entire property in
    and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in under or upon any land in
    Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone
    of Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federation and shall be managed in
    such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

See also: Section 43 of the Nigerian Constitution (Right to acquire and own immovable property)

Credit: https://publicofficialsfinancialdisclosure.worldbank.org/sites/fdl/files/assets/law-library-files/Nigeria_Constitution_1999_en.pdf

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