November 30, 2022

Section 44  – Right against compulsory acquisition of property (Protection from expropriation)

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

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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; General guarantee of equality

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.

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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.

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