Customarily, the land is vested in the community as a corporate entity and no individual or member of that community can claim ownership unless such a right is granted to the communal head or chief.


Every community member has important rights under customary law which are enforceable and must be respected. They include:

1) Right to allotment:

Every community member is entitled to use communal land and this right does not depend on the pleasure or discretion of the chief. This right can also be enforced (see Lewis v Bankole)

2) Right to share in communal income:

Apart from the actual user, income or profit derived from communal land is the property of the entire community. The chief will deduct all charges and expenses with the balance shared among members of the community.

3) Right to participate in management of community land:

The chief must inform important family heads and elders begin taking decisions affecting community property. It is crucial that all principal members must agree to a sale or disposition else such a decision can be challenged.

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