BY DENNIS ISONG
If you ask anyone that has bought or hoping to buy land in Lagos about their obstacles in buying such land, they would tell you about the fear of an encounter with omo-onile. Some people have vowed never to buy in Lagos again because of the bitter experience with these people. No matter where you hope to buy land in Lagos, you are highly likely to have an encounter with them.
Who then are the omo-oniles?
Omo-oniles are people who claim ownership of land. A land can belong to a family, someone sells it and gives you its papers. Then, other members of the family get wind of it and instead of fighting the seller, they decide to harass you. And if care is not taken, you may end up paying for and multiple times because they just keep showing up.
Omo-onile are not calm people you can take with leniency. They can be a big bone in your throat. You have to stand firm and serious if you don’t want your land property taken away from you.
Buying land is not that simple -it involves a lot. This omo-onile may sell to multiple people, thereby causing serious trouble. And if you are not the type that likes while you may end up leaving that land out of frustration.
Alhaji Dauda, for the past 6 years is still having issues with them. Alhaji is a very tough man and the more they give him troubles, the more he is bent on not leaving the land. It even got to the point of going diabolical, yet, he didn’t budge.
One thing about other mo-online groups is that prevention is better than cure. Avoid them as much as you can and how you do this, I will highlight them in this article.
- You need a property Lawyer
Not all Lawyers can handle this for you, that’s why you need a Lawyer who specializes in property Law. He/she will be able to handle it properly based on professionalism and experience.
- Go to the site with the land surveyor and your lawyer
A land surveyor should:
-Read the coordinate of the plot with his GPS (Global Positioning System) and other instruments
-Compare the coordinate readings with the ones in the land survey if there is a copy already.
If it corresponds, then your lawyer/agent should go to Alausa with a copy to find out if the land is under Government acquisition or not. The response from Alausa will determine if you should move to the next stage or not.
- Your Lawyer sees to proper paperwork
These papers are important to be properly done:
-The land surveys
-Deeds of Assignment
-Certificate of Occupancy
-Government consent should be prepared.
When an omo-onile sees a Lawyer who knows her onion, they are hesitant to mess up, so they comply level-headed. Your Lawyer will organize a meeting between you and representatives of omo-one and all families involved in the said land transaction and make sure they append their signatures for proper documentation. You can go ahead with developing your land because after all these are achieved, it means that your property is safe.
- Your Lawyer comes in again by negotiating a settlement with the omo-one of that neighborhood.
Each stage of development might involve the interference of omo-onile. That is why your Lawyer should meet them for negotiation before you start development at all just to avoid waste of materials because they could beat and harass your workers on site and that’s entirely a major issue.
If the news spreads, site workers may be unwilling to work on your site even if it’s all settled. Now, another issue is that if anyone is killed or maimed in the process of chaos, this issue might drain you for years because definitely, it will end up in court.
Meanwhile, you should also put into consideration the “Community Development Association.” You don’t want to keep having issues with these people because having so much trouble with them may end up extending your project to the stage of getting tempted to abandon it. so, it’s advisable that your Lawyer meets them ahead and discusses and negotiates a settlement.
Once this is done and the original receipt is given, you don’t have any problem going forward. Then your project will certainly move on smoothly without any interference/ disruption and will be completed within the stipulated time frame.