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Section 44 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Preamble to the Constitution Section 1 – Supremacy of constitution Section 2 – The Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 3 – States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Section 4 – Legislative powers Section 5 – Executive powers Section 6 – Judicial powers Section 7 – Local government system Section 8 – New states and boundary adjustment, etc. Section 9 – Mode of altering provisions of the constitution Section 10 – Prohibition of State Religion Section 11 – Public order and public security Section 12 – Implementation of treaties Section 13-24 – Chapter II [Fundamental Objectives and directive Principles of State Policy] Section 25-32 – Chapter III [Citizenship] Section 33 – Right to life Section 34 – Right to dignity of human persons Section 35 – Right to personal liberty Section 36 – Right to fair hearing Section 37 – Right to private and family life Section 38 – Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion Section 39 – Right to freedom of expression and the press Section 40 – Right to peaceful assembly and association Section 41 – Right to freedom of movement Section 42 – Right to freedom from discrimination Section 43 – Right to acquire and own immovable property Section 44 – Compulsory acquisition of property Section 45 – Restriction on and derogation from fundamental human rights Section 46 – Special jurisdiction of High Court and Legal aid Section 47-51 [Part I – National Assembly (A – Composition and Staff of National Assembly)] Section 52-64 (B – Procedure for Summoning and Dissolution of National Assembly) Section 65-70 (C – Qualifications for Membership of National Assembly and Right of Attendance) Section 71-79 (D – Elections to National Assembly) Section 80-89 (E – Powers and Control over Public Funds) Section 90-93 [Part II – House of Assembly of a State (A – Composition and Staff of House of Assembly)] Section 94-105 (B – Procedure for Summoning and Dissolution of House of Assembly) Section 106-111 (C – Qualification for Membership of House of Assembly and Right of Attendance) Section 112-119 (D – Elections to a House of Assembly) Section 120-129 (E – Powers and control over Public Funds) Section 130-152 [Part I – Federal Executive (A – The President of the Federation)] Section 153-161 (B – Establishment of Certain Federal Executive Bodies) Section 162-168 (C – Public Revenue) Section 169-175 (D – The Public Service of the Federation) Section 176-196 [Part II – State Executive (A – The Governor of a State)] Section 197-205 (B – Establishment of Certain State Executive Bodies) Section 206-212 (C – The Public Service of State) Section 213 [Part III – Supplemental (A – National Population Census)] Section 214-216 (B – Nigeria Police Force) Section 217-220 (C – Armed Forces of the Federation) Section 221-229 (D – Political Parties) Section 230-236 [Part I – Federal Courts (A – The Supreme Court of Nigeria)] Section 237-248 (B – The Court of Appeal) Section 249-254 (C – The Federal High Court) Section 255-259 (D – The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja) Section 260-264 (E – The Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja) Section 265-269 (F – The Customary Court of appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja) Section 270-274 [Part II – State Courts (A – High Court of a State)] Section 275-279 (B – Sharia Court of Appeal of a State) Section 280-284 (C – Customary Court of Appeal of a State) Section 285 [Part III – Election Tribunals] Section 286-296 [Part IV – Supplemental] Section 297-304 [Part I – Federal Capital Territory, Abuja] Section 305-308 [Part II – Miscellaneous Provisions] Section 309-317 [Part III – Transitional Provisions and Savings] Section 318-320 [Part IV – Interpretation, Citation and Commencement] First Schedule Second Schedule Third Schedule Fourth Schedule Fifth Schedule Sixth Schedule Seventh Schedule

Section 44 of the Nigerian Constitution

Section 44 of the constitution of Nigeria is about Compulsory acquisition of property. It is under Chapter IV (Fundamental Rights) of the constitution. Section 44 has three subsections.

  1. (1) No moveable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of
    compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any
    part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law that, among other things –
    (a) requires the prompt payment of compensation
    therefore and
    (b) gives to any person claiming such
    compensation a right of access for the
    determination of his interest in the property and
    the amount of compensation to a court of law or
    tribunal or body having jurisdiction in that part of

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as affecting any
    general law.
    (a) for the imposition or enforcement of any tax,
    rate or duty;
    (b) for the imposition of penalties or forfeiture for
    breach of any law, whether under civil process or
    after conviction for an offence;
    (c) relating to leases, tenancies, mortgages,
    charges, bills of sale or any other rights or
    obligations arising out of contracts.
    (d) relating to the vesting and administration of
    property of persons adjudged or otherwise
    declared bankrupt or insolvent, of persons of
    unsound mind or deceased persons, and of
    corporate or unincorporate bodies in the course of
    being wound-up;
    (e) relating to the execution of judgements or
    orders of court;
    (f) providing for the taking of possession of
    property that is in a dangerous state or is
    injurious to the health of human beings, plants or
    (g) relating to enemy property;
    (h) relating to trusts and trustees;
    (i) relating to limitation of actions;
    (j) relating to property vested in bodies corporate
    directly established by any law in force in
    (k) relating to the temporary taking of possession
    of property for the purpose of any examination,
    investigation or enquiry;
    (l) providing for the carrying out of work on land
    for the purpose of soil-conservation; or
    (m) subject to prompt payment of compensation
    for damage to buildings, economic trees or crops,
    providing for any authority or person to enter,
    survey or dig any land, or to lay, install or erect
    poles, cables, wires, pipes, or other conductors or
    structures on any land, in order to provide or
    maintain the supply or distribution of energy,
    fuel, water, sewage, telecommunication services
    or other public facilities or public utilities.

    (3) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the entire property in
    and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in under or upon any land in
    Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone
    of Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federation and shall be managed in
    such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.
See also  Section 230-236 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

See also: Section 43 of the Nigerian Constitution (Right to acquire and own immovable property)


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  1. Pingback:Fundamental Human Rights Under the 1999 Constitution - LAWhub NG

  2. Hello. I believe that the cap of N5m and N10m imposed by Section 1 of the Money Laundering Act on cash payments outside financial institutions is tantamount to the Government compulsorily acquiring the rights and interest of the public in disposing/alienating their cash assets in excess of those sums. Given the non-applicability of the extenuating circumstances envisaged by Section 44(2) of the Constitution to such payments, I believe a genuine case exists for invalidating Section 1 of the Money Laundering Act

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