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Right of Easement under the Law

Meaning of right of easement


Right of easement is a right annexed or attached to land to utilise or enjoy another land owned by another person in a particular manner and it may sometimes give additional right to or prevent the owner of the dominant tenement from utilising his own land in a particular manner.

The right confers no proprietary or possessory right in the land affected, but mainly imposes definite and limited restrictions upon the proprietary rights of the owner of the land.

The Nigerian Law recognises the right to easement and where there is a threat to such right, the law and Court must protect such rights.

Nature of right of easement.


The existence of right of easement is in the nature of not only a right in civil tort but indeed a constitutional right to the plenitude and full enjoyment of one’s property as guaranteed by Section 40 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.

What applicants seeking right of easement must show to succeed.

An applicant seeking right of easement must show the court is that there is a triable issue or that he has recognisable right which is being threatened for which the court is being urged to protect. All that an applicant is expected to do at the stage is to establish a legal right.

There is therefore no legal duty to prove his case on the preponderance of evidence or on the balance of probability. See the case of Braithwaite V S.C.B(Nig) Ltd(2012) 1 NWLR(Pt. 1281)P.301.

Duty on court to protect right of easement.

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The right of easement is for the well-being of owners of properties and whenever this right is threatened, the court should be in a position to protect it. Also even when there is approval of building permit from government, this does not obliterate the right of easement which the law confers on the neighbours. No building permit should be interpreted to mean that such a building can completely annihilate the right to air and light of the adjoining properties.

Court to protect rights of easement


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