On Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, the Oniru Royal Family issued a public notice announcing the appointment of Oba Gbolahan Lawal as the Oniru of Iruland. The public notice signed by the newly appointed Oniru and the counsel to the royal family instructed all bankers to place a Post No Debit (PND) order on the family’s accounts and a halt to any transactions with lessees, tenants and occupiers of Oniru family properties, pending further directives from Oba Gbolahan Lawal.
According to the public notice, The British International School, Oniru, Lagos along with its bankers being Guaranty Trust Bank are also required to adhere to this order. Some of the other banks instructed include First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Sterling Bank Plc., Zenith Bank Plc. and Standard Chartered Bank.
Land Titles in Oniru Vs. Other Locations in Lagos
According to the Land Use Act of 1978, the State Government owns all land in the State. Under the Act, the nature of interests in real property is leasehold for terms not exceeding 99 years. This means that “buyers” only lease the land and are required to apply for a renewal after the lease expires. If approved, they will pay a renewal fee to the State Government and complete the registration process once more. In Oniru, however, the family, not the government, owns the land as a result of a special arrangement. This means that lessees of land in Oniru are required to apply to the Oniru family and if granted renewal, pay a renewal fee to the Oniru family, after the expiration of the lease term.
This puts property owners in Oniru at the mercy of the family and not the State Government during renewals.
In cases where the land title is tied to a family, prospective buyers are typically required to get a signed document from the ‘head of the family’ and ensure other family members are aware. The head of the family is required to issue accented documents to prospective buyers before the seller and buyer can proceed to the Land Registry to verify the original land documents against the land registry’s counterpart to ensure it’s authenticity.