…Continued from last edition.
By AKHIGBE Dominic M
MON, DECEMBER 12 2016-If a party to a land in dispute has produced and tendered the survey plan showing, the area he is claiming with certainty and ascertainable boundaries, that party need not call a surveyor to testify before the courts.
It should be noted that, if the defendant fails to raise the issue of a survey plan at the trial when he had the opportunity to, it becomes unfair to deprive the plaintiff of the benefit of the judgment in his favour.
Inaccurate descriptions in the survey plan hold its implications, and may throw the judgment against the Applicant. It is therefore essential that a surveyor prepares plans which will not only capture the details of what their clients show them but also features which will help the court to form a good picture of the land and unless it is meant to fulfill said function it would be useless to the court in following the party’s case. Surveyors will do well to bear in mind the provisions of section 8(1) of the Survey Act by which they will lose their licenses, if they make false or incorrect surveys or untrue report or plan. But more than that, the court has the power, if satisfied that the surveyor has made an inaccurate plan to punish him as for contempt of court.
In circumstances where having found a possible discrepancy in the two plans tendered and as no expert was called to explain the discrepancy, the trial court will not enter judgment in favour of the plaintiff for his claim.
Also, the court will not ascribe probative value to a survey plan which is bereft of features which can give the boundaries in it the character of certainty.
If an inaccurate plan is adduced in the court or the plaintiff’s evidence is at variance with his plan, the court will not make a declaration of title.
However, it is submitted that the proper order for the trial court to make in such circumstance is not one of dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim but a non-suit with liberty to the plaintiff to take fresh action after rectifying the survey plan.
The production of a survey plan is one of the ways in which evidence can be led to prove the identity of a person’s land.
A survey plan prepared by a licensed surveyor is the best way of discharging the onus of establishing an entitlement to a piece of land.
The above detailed presentation is expected to drive home the very importance of Survey Plans.
Property owners should know that the value of property ownership is highly influenced by the strength of its Title.
However, it is very important to note that Deed of Survey is not the Ultimate of the Proof of ownership. It is a component of the entire Ratification process and a very important part of the documentation towards the Perfection process. Property owners are therefore not enjoined to hang the boots at the level of Survey Plans or better put, Registered Survey Plans.
AKHIGBE Esq is CEO, Property Logic Incorporated/Business coach & Seminar speaker/expert in business and property law. Email:Propertylogic.email@example.com/www.propertylogicincorporated.com: Tel: 2348034846284