To conduct a land verification in Abuja, an application for verification must be made to the appropriate authority or land registry.
In Abuja, the appropriate authority is the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS). A person intending to purchase land within the environs of the Federal Capital Territory must submit the following requirements at AGIS to conduct a search or verify the particulars of the land:
- An application letter addressed to the Director of Lands Administration providing full details of the property which is stated on the Certificate of Occupancy to wit: Name of Owner, File Number, Plot No(s), Certificate of Occupancy Number and date.
- Evidence of payment of legal search fee either N10, 000 (residential purposes) or N20, 000 (commercial purposes). The customized teller for such is available in the Bank.
- Original Certificate or Right of Occupancy for sighting.
- Photocopy of valid means of identification.
The search is carried out by the staff at the Land Registry who prepare a search report stating whether the details provided in the letter match that of the document with them or of any land registered there.
Apart from carrying out a search at AGIS, it is advisable to carry out a search at the following places based on the circumstances surrounding the land to be purchased:
- Probate Registry– to determine the authority of the persons disposing off the deceased’s property. This registry is attached to the Court and for Abuja, it can be accessed at the High Court in Maitama.
- Corporate Affairs Commission– where the property belongs to a company. This is to determine if there are any registered charges on the assets of the company. It also aids in determining whether the seller is a person who has the authority to act on behalf of the company and conduct transactions in its name and determines whether the property has been mortgaged.
A lawyer who is an accredited agent with the Corporate Affairs Commission can conduct this search.
In conclusion, it is pertinent to conduct a search on land to verify that the title intended to be purchased belongs to the person or entity posing as the owner. The search also helps to unravel whether there are any encumbrances on the said land. Engaging the services of a professional makes this process hassle-free and ensures an efficient and thorough search to avoid problems that may arise in the future questioning the title.
By Real Estate Law Team