1st Edition

Nigerian Land Law and Custom

By T. Olawale Elias Copyright 1951
    358 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1951, Nigerian Land Law and Custom (now with a new preface by Olusoji Elias), the first of its kind, is an excellent comparative study of the whole system of land tenure in Nigeria. There are, of course, a few anthropological attempts, almost invariably designed as or inspired by Government Reports on some specific areas of the country, and their aim is therefore often administrative or fiscal. This book is accordingly an attempt to create a legal order out of the chaos of lay approaches and to examine and systematize, as far as possible, such principles of indigenous tenure as are discernible in available materials in the light of the growing body of case-law.

    This book will be of value to students and researchers of African law and custom, and of comparative jurisprudence.

    1. Historical Introduction  2. Problems of Ownership (The Colony)  3. Problems of Ownership (The Protectorate)  4. Corollaries of Crown ‘Ownership’  5. Indigenous Systems of Tenure  6. Indigenous Systems of Tenure (Continued) (Decided Cases illustrating and amplifying Chapter 5)  7. Indigenous Systems of Tenure (continued)  8. Alienation of Land (Inter Vivos)  9. Servitudes, Easements, Profits and Restrictive Covenants  10. Inheritance and Succession (Alienation on Death)  11. Land Registration  12. Conclusion


    T. Olawale Elias became the first Attorney General and Minister of Justice of independent Nigeria, which ended in 1966 after the coup d'état. Elias was appointed as Nigeria's commissioner for justice in 1967. In 1972, he became chief justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. After the military took over in 1975, Elias was elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council as a judge in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that he served until his death.

    Review of the first publication:

    “It is with pleasure that one welcomes the appearance of a treatise on the land law of Nigeria…”

    A. N. Allott, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Volume 15, Issue 3