Database of land and property litigation launched by Lagos government
To reduce litigation in properties and ease the process of doing business in the sector, the Lagos State government has developed an electronic real estate litigation system (a. K.a Lis Pendens).
The electronic system was designed to provide easy access to information to anyone who intends to deal in real estate with information primarily on whether the property is subject of litigation in a court.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, while speaking at the launch, said the system was designed in line with the administration’s drive to promote information technology in the state.
Kazeem, who was represented by the Solicitor General, Mrs Funlola Odunlami said: “The world we know today is at the click of a button technology driven and the Lagos State government is certainly in trend with the time.
“We have been working endlessly to ensure that Lagos is not left in the dark ages. This is why several initiatives and steps are being taken to make Lagos State as technologically driven as possible.
“The system will offer end-users the platform for “filing a ’Lis-Pendens’ entry which may be uploaded on the ‘Lis-Pendes online system, thus giving actual and constructive notice to the public and innocent purchasers.”
The AG also described the real estate sector as one which records a very large turnover within the economy of the state.
According to him, “with the vision of becoming the largest economy in Africa, it is expected that the level of economic and commercial activities in Lagos State would experience an unprecedented level, height and pace. The real sector is therefore expected to further attract a significant amount of attention.”
Kazeem, therefore, explained that other services the electronic real estate litigation system would include to “provide a comprehensive database of real estate/property in Lagos which is subject of litigation., provide information on pending cases in court, notify the public of real estate and property which are the subject of pending litigation, curtail risk associated with property transactions, reduce litigation on real estate as the public can now easily confirm if a property is subject of a pending litigation, enhance due diligence in property transactions, ensure the public and professional bodies are able to conduct an efficient search of real estate and property among other services.”
However, the state Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke described the system as a wonderful initiative which would have positive impact on the administration of justice.
The CJ, represented by Justice Olaide Olayinka, said: “It is exactly what is required in Lagos State. There are so many cases on property in court with many not knowing that the property is a matter pending in court”.
She added that the system would curtail risk in property business and make due diligence easy to observe.
Mr. Emmanuel Akinde who represented the Permanent Secretary, Lands and Registry advised that the new initiative be backed by law to give it more effect just as searches on properties is backed by the Lagos Registration of Titles Law 2015.
He said: “ before now, searches are only limited to finding out if land is under government acquisition or not. With this innovation, real investors will know whether there is litigation on any land in the state.”
The Surveyor General, Mr. Olutomi Sangowawa, admonished them that the system should be on-line real time so that investors can know if there are encumbrances when transacting businesses on properties.
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