Can I get my property back if my right of occupancy is revoked by a Governor for his own benefit or that of his/her family members/ associates and on what other grounds can I challenge illegality?

Yes. You can only do this by enforcing your right in court where the compulsory acquisition of your property is for the interest of the governor, his/her families, and political associates or against public purposes. For example the court once held in the case of Ibafon Company Ltd. And Another V. Nigerian Ports Authority PLC and Others[1] that the alienation of land compulsorily for public purposes to person who used it for private business was illegal.

Before your right of occupancy can be compulsorily acquired by the state, it must follow the conditions stated below:

  1. Notice of acquisition must be given to the holder of the land[2]. It can only be effectively served if[3]
  2. The acquisition notice is delivered to the person on whom it is to be served;
  3. Leaving the notice at or sending via registered letter/courier to his usual or last know place of residence/address;
  4. If the party to be served is an incorporated company or body, the notice must be served on inform of registered letter to the secretary or clerk of the company or body;
  5. Where name or address of occupier or holder of the land cannot be ascertained after reasonable inquiry, and by delivering it to someone on the premises or affixing it or placing a copy of in in a eye-catching/noticeable part of the premises.
  6. Manner and purpose of acquisition must also make provisions for prompt payment of adequate compensation and must also give a person claiming compensation right to appeal to a court in respect of the amount of compensation.

Kindly note, that the Governor can offer resettlement in another place in lieu of compensation. Where the value of new place is higher than the acquired property, a person can pay the excess to government in form of a loan.[4]

[1] (2000) 17 WRN 56 at 68 CA

[2] Section 28(6) of the Land Use Act

[3] Section 44 of the Land Use Act

[4] Section 29(4) of the Land Use Act