Section 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution: Moveable and Immoveable Property

Moveable Property

The 1999 Constitution

Section 43

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.

(This is talking about land. Any citizen of Nigeria can buy and own land anywhere in Nigeria except there is a law that says you can’t do so for one reason or another. {For instance, in Lagos State, you can’t own land if you are below 18 years of age.)


Section 44 (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

(This means that any property that a person owns that moves or any interest a person has in property that cannot be moved will be taken by force. Also, your right over or interest in such property that moves or cannot move will be taken by force anywhere in Nigeria unless it is done in the way that the law has said it will be taken, among other things -)


Section 44 (1) (a)

requires the prompt payment of compensation therefore and

(saying what you must be given as compensation)

Section 44 (1) (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

(also allowing you to bargain what you will be paid as compensation and to go to court or a tribunal for the determination of such compensation in whichever part of Nigeria it applies.)


Section 44 (2)

Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as affecting any general law

(Subsection 1 of Section 44 will not be seen as affecting any general law where it is done: )


Section 44 (2) (a)

for the imposition or enforcement of any tax, rate or duty;

(In order to enforce payment of tax, rate or duty)


Section 44 (2) (b)

for the imposition of penalties or forfeiture for breach of any law, whether under civil process or after conviction for an offence;

(In order to impose penalties or forfeit property because a person has breached any law, whether it is a civil offence or after conviction for a criminal offence)


Section 44 (2) (c)

relating to leases, tenancies, mortgages, charges, bills of sale or any other rights or obligations arising out of contracts.

(In relation to leases, tenancy agreements, mortgages, charges or bills of sale or any other right or obligation that comes out of contracts between parties)


Section 44 (2) (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;

(In relation to administering property of a person who has declared bankruptcy or is unable to pay their debts (insolvent), to persons who are of unsound mind or dead, and corporate or unincorporated bodies as they are being wound-up i.e. ceases to do business as usual; dissolve)


Section 44 (2) (e)

relating to the execution of judgements or orders of court;

(When executing an order of court or executing judgment of court)


Section 44 (2) (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;

(A property is in a dangerous state or will harm humans, plants or animals)


Section 44 (2) (g)

relating to enemy property;

(Where the property belongs to an enemy of the state)


Section 44 (2) (h)

relating to trusts and trustees;

(Where such property is under Trust and Trustees)


Section 44 (2) (i)

relating to limitation of actions;

(Where such property is under limitation of actions – Limitation of actions is a statutory remedy which prevents a claimant ((a person who brings a claim before the court suing someone)) from bringing or instituting proceedings after the expiration of specified time limits. Also see statute of limitation)


Section 44 (2) (j)

relating to property vested in bodies corporate directly established by any law in force in Nigeria;

(Where it concerns property that has been given to corporate bodies directly established/ created by any law in force in Nigeria)


Section 44 (2) (k)

relating to the temporary taking of possession of property for the purpose of any examination, investigation or enquiry;

(When such property is taken possession of temporarily because it is under examination, investigation or enquiry)


Section 44 (2) (l)

providing for the carrying out of work on land for the purpose of soil-conservation; or

(in order to provide for carrying out work on land for soil conservation; or)


Section 44 (2) (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.

(Where immediate payment of compensation is conditional for damage to buildings, economic trees or crops, which provides 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.)


Section 44 (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.

(No matter what was said before in this section 44, all the natural minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under, or upon any land anywhere in Nigeria belongs to the Federal Government. These resources are to managed in any way the National Assembly says)

Section 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution: Freedom of Movement and Rights Against Discrimination

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