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A LAWYER CANNOT ENGAGE IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING LANDS FOR CLIENTS, SAYS COURT

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It was settled in a court judgement in 2013 that a lawyer has no requisite educational learning, practical training, certification/licensing, & any backing in law to either sell or lease or manage land, buildings & facilities for clients in Nigeria.
See below the court judgement on this matter in 2013:

Did you know that the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for lawyers in Nigeria does not allow lawyers to sell land?

Well, read the case of NBA v Ibebunjo (2013) 18 NWLR (Pt.1386) and find out how selling lands for clients can make a lawyer to be derobed!
(Note: NBA means “Nigerian Bar Association”)

On whether the business of selling land is incompatible with the practice of law, the Judge held as follows:

By virtue of rule 7(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the business of selling land is a trade or business incompatible with the practice of law. In the instant case, the respondent was clearly doing illegal business to sell land.

“As it relates to count 2, it is clear beyond per adventure that the business of selling land is a trade or business incompatible with the practice of law. Rule 7(3) clearly provides the category of business that are compatible with the practice of law. From what we have reproduced above the respondent was clearly playing with fire when he was using the platform of his legal practice to sell land. The justice of this case demands that we allow him go full time into his main business of selling of land and to leave the business of practicing law to those who are bona fide legal practitioners.”

NBA v Ibebunjo (2013) 18 NWLR (Pt.1386) 413 @428, paras. A-C

FURTHER COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE COURT JUDGEMENT

The truths on the business of selling or leasing or managing lands, buildings & facilities for clients in Nigeria, are that:

  1. Lawyers only have the requisite educational learning, practical training, certification, backing in law and backing in the “Rules of Professional Conduct” for lawyers in Nigeria, to get involved ONLY in the following areas:
  • Advising or giving a legal opinion to clients on land title documents & tenancy agreements,
  • Drafting of land title documents & tenancy agreements for clients,
  • Filing & handling of cases in court, for clients.
  1. Any person who is not a lawyer but has a good understanding of the tenancy law is legally qualified to write & serve Quit Notices to tenants, because there is no law in Nigeria that has reserved this function for lawyers only, as it is erroneously believed by the public for decades.
  2. The only persons that have the requisite educational learning, practical training, certification/licensing & the backing in law to sell or lease or manage lands, buildings & facilities for clients in Nigeria, are ONLY the “Registered/Licensed Estate Surveyors & Valuers” who are members of the “Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers” (NIESV) and are Registered/Licensed by the “Estate Surveyors & Valuers Registration Board of Nigerian” (ESVRBON) which was created by the Federal Government of Nigeria with Decree 24 of 1975.

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