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  • Dakour v. Lagos State Development & Property Corporation
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Dakour v. Lagos State Development & Property Corporation

JOSEPHINE DAKOUR

( For herself and as Attorney of Georgette Matta and Jeannette Tabet)

HENRY ALLAM

( Attorney of Aziz Assad Taya )

V

1.             LAGOS STATE DEVELOPMENT AND PROPERTY CORPORATION

2.             ADONIS STORES

COURT OF APPEAL

( LAGOS DIVISION )

ADENEKAN ADEMOLA, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

EPHRAIM OMOROSE IBUKUN AKPATA, JCA

UMARU ATU KALGO, JCA

CA/L/153/88

TUESDAY, 23RD NOVEMBER, 1989

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION - Acquisition of land - Whether notice to a trustee of a claimant or notice to one of several claimants sufficient -  Need for personal service of notice or documents

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION - Acquisition of land - Notice of acquisition - Requisite notices to claimants under section 75, Lagos Town Planning Ordinance, Cap. 95, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, Lagos

1958  considered - Failure to serve - Effect

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION - Acquisition of landed property - Where declared null and void - Persons entitled to collect rents on such landed property

LAND LAW - Acquisition of land - Notice of acquisition - Requisite notices to claimants - Section 75, Lagos Town Planning Ordinance, Cap. 95 , Laws of Federation of Nigeria, Lagos 1958 considered

LAND LAW - Acquisition of land - Whether notice to a trustee of a claimant or notice to one of several claimants sufficient

STATUTE - Lagos Town Planning Ordinance, Cap. 95, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, Lagos 1958, section 75 - Acquisition of land - Requisite notice to claimants considered

STATUTE - Lagos Town Planning Ordinances, Cap. 95, Laws of Federation, Lagos 1958, section 45(1) - Condition for vesting of land - Need to state ‘appointed day’ in scheme of planning

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Appointed day’ in a statute - Meaning of

Issues:

1.            Whether the property situate at 78, Nnamdi Azikwe Street, Lagos was validly acquired under the provisions of the Lagos Town Planning Ordinance, Cap. 95, Laws of Federation, Nigeria, Lagos 1958.

2.            Whether there was notice of acquisition of the property to the 1 st claimant.

Facts:

Adonis Stores (the applicant/appellant) filed an interpleaders summons at the High Court of Lagos State for a determination of who amongst the 1st claimants/appellants and the 2nd claimant/respondent was entitled to collect rents on the property situate at 78, Nnamdi Azikwe Street, Lagos.

The 2nd claimant/respondent, (L.S.D.P.C.) claimed in its affidavit that the property had been validly acquired by its predecessor in title, the Lagos Executive Development Board (L.E.D.B.) under its Central Planning Scheme of 1951. The 1st claimants/appellants who were the owners denied this and contended that no notice of acquisition was issued to them, and that the property had not in any wise been vested on the 2nd claimant/ respondent’s predecessor. On evaluation of evidence, the learned trial Judge, Fernandez, J., upheld the claim of the 2nd claimant/respondent; thus holding that the property had been validly acquired.

On appeal, it was contended for the appellants that there was no evidence before the trial court to sustain its holding that adequate and valid notices i.e. Exhibits G and G1 were issued, and that as there was no appointed date of vesting of the property on the L.E.D.B. the acquisition could not be said to be valid. In determining the appeal, the Court of Appeal considered the provisions of sections 45(1) and 75 of the Lagos Town Planning Ordinance, Cap. 95, Laws of Federation and Lagos 1958 which provide thus:

“Section 45(1) Where an approved scheme provides for the acquisition of any land by the board, such a land shall vest in the board on such day as is appointed

in the scheme in that behalf free from incumberances, but without prejudice to any lessees’ or occupiers’ rights in any compensation payable under section 41 or 49.”

Section 75:  Every notice, order or other document required or authorised by this Ordinance or by any regulations made thereunder to be served on any person may be served:-

(a)          by delivering the same to such person or by delivering the same at the abode where such person ordinarily resides to some adult member or servant of his family;

(b)          if the abode where such person ordinarily resides is not known, by forwarding the same by registered post addressed to such person at his last known place of abode or business; or

(c)          if the name of such person is not known, or if service cannot with reasonable diligence be effected under paragraph (a) or ( b) of this subsection, by fixing the same on a conspicuous part of the premises in respect of which the notice, order or other document is issued.”