By Amaka Ezeno, MCLArb
The notice to quit is a condition precedent to commence an action in court for the recovery of premises. Basically, it is issued to formally bring tenancy to an end. The length of quit notice to be issued by a landlord or lessor depends on the type of tenancy agreement existing between them and the tenant. Thus, tenancy could be monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly tenancy.
Accordingly, where there is no express agreement between the parties on the length of quit notice, the following applies: one month notice to quit for a monthly tenancy; three months quit notice for a quarterly tenancy, and six months notice for an annual tenancy.
Often than not, tenants have the misunderstanding that the usual six months notice must be complied with in all situations. On the contrary, the law is that, where there is no stipulation as to the notice to be given by either party to terminate the tenancy, then notice shall be given according to the type of tenancy agreement.
The import is that any notice is subject to the express agreement of the parties. Thus, in their agreement, the parties can decide to change the length of the notice, either to a greater or lesser degree. As such, the six (6) months notice to quit is a privilege which can be taken away by the agreement of both parties.
Where there is an agreement as to the length of notice to be issued, the landlady is bound to give such notice otherwise it would be of no legal effect. In Nnadozie v. Oluoma (1963) 7 ENLR 77, a one month notice to quit was supposed to be issued but the lessor issued a notice less than one month (29 days).
The said notice was held to be invalid. Again, where there is no express agreement between the parties, then the notice should be one, three months and six months for monthly, quarterly and annual tenancy in that order.
However, there are instances where the notice to quit can be done away with. Where the tenant is in arrears of rent for up to six months, or one year in a case of monthly and quarterly tenancy respectively, then the tenancy elapses by force of law.
SOLEMNIZATION OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE IN PLACES OF WORSHIP IN NIGERIA
The problem of humanity is that we can be sick in two places, the body and the mind. The latter is the worst earthly tragedy because until it is cured, it multiplies the problems of humanity. I have read that the problem of man is his freewill. Put it in context, the wrong use of our freedom is the problem. For many, homosexualism is one of the wrong uses of freewill. For others, it is just their choice.
In either case, it generates a lot of buzz especially among gen-z. Indeed, the general notion is that it is against the natural order, for man and woman, he created them. It also carries the biological impossibility of reproduction. Regardless, in many places, it has been legalized, and failure to recognize it as such is punishable.
In Nigeria, it was unregulated until 2013 when the then President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill. Therefore, the law is clear on the illegality of homosexualism or same sex marriage. In fact, a marriage contract or civil union entered between persons of same sex in a foreign country is void in Nigeria.
In effect, the marriage between Adam and Steve, or Agnes and Deborah conducted in the US cannot be recognized as a valid marriage in Nigeria, and no marriage benefit shall be enjoyed as such in Nigeria. Same sex marriage in Nigeria is punishable with a term of 14 years imprisonment.
Consequently, it is also an offence to solemnize same sex marriage in any place of worship in Nigeria. In fact, any person or group of persons who administers, witnesses, abets or aids the solemnization of same sex marriage or civil union commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.
Same sex relationships are becoming rampant, particularly in universities. The writer is of the opinion that bad company, adventurousness, lack of social skills (especially for the boys), and fantasy are among the major causes. It was Fitzroy who said that “Life, in its most unadorned expression, is a battle of wills. As such, there is a double law of gravity in every human person; the one which pulls them to their higher self and self-perfection, and the one which pulls them to their lower self and self-destruction.
Every young person must decide which law of gravity to comply with. There are enough tool to succeed in either case. Good company is one. Busyness is another, a purpose driven life. Consumption of edifying contents, among others. For parents, the onus is to give their children spiritual education first, so that they can have the better or right interpretation of life when they finally meet the unreflective world.
Until then, do remember that same sex marriage or the support of it, including public show of amorous same sex relationship, is a crime in Nigeria.
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING A VALID TRUST
Underhill defined a trust as a relationship which arises where a person called the trustee is compelled in equity to hold property whether real or personal and whether by legal or equitable title for the benefit of some persons (of whom he many be one and who are termed cestui que trust or beneficiaries) or for some object permitted by law in such a way that the real benefit of the property accrues not to the trustee but to the beneficiaries or other object of the trust.
In customary land system, for instance, land belongs to or is owned by the community or the family, and in every case, the chief or the Okpara has charge of the land and in loose mode of speech is sometimes called the owner. He is to an extent in the position of a trustee, as such he holds the land for the family or community. In another instance, a trust is created when’s Mr. John gives his property to Mr. Okeke to hold in trust for another person or party.
Certain requirements must be met in order to create a valid trust. They are capacity, and certainty of words, subject matter and persons. On capacity, it is the same as capacity to hold property. Any person who has the capacity to hold land can declare a trust of such land. Therefore, an infant lacks the capacity to hold legal interest in land and cannot declare a trust in respect of land. A lunatic too cannot create a trust of their property. However, the court can do so for him or her.
On the certainty of words, it has been settled that technical words are not required for the creation of trust. This is so because equity looks at the intention, not the form. Therefore, the question in every case is whether, on the construction of the words used, the testator can be said to have shown a manifest intention to create a trust.
If the words show that the testator intended to impose on the donee an obligation to carry out his wish regarding a property, then a trust is created. In Re Kayford Ltd, some members bought goods from the company and were afraid of the company being able to supply the good, the company paid the money into a separate account on trust for the customers. It was held that a trust had been created.
There will be no trust if the donor couples his gift with a request, entreaty or recommendation to the donee and giving the donee the discretion whether to accede the request or not. The use of preparatory words like hope, wishes, desire, in full confidence, will not create a trust. Thus, in Mussoorie Bank Ltd v. Raynor, a testator left all his property to his widow “feeling confident that she will act justly to her children in dividing the same when no longer required by her”. The court held that there was no trust for the children.
However, where preparatory words are used in an imperative sense, a trust may be established. In Comiskey v Bowring-Hanbury, a testator left all his property to his wife “absolutely in full confidence that she will make such use of it as I should have made myself and that at her death, she will devise it to such one or more of my nieces as she may think fit and in default of any disposition by her thereof by her will or testament; I hereby direct that all my estate and property acquired by her under this Will shall at her death be equally divided among the surviving said nieces…” The court held that there was a trust.
On the certainty of the subject matter, the trust property must be certain and clearly identifiable otherwise the purported trust is void as in Palmer v. Simmonds, where the subject matter of the trust was the “bulk of my said residue estate.” Uncertainty may be cured by the court sometimes by dividing the property in equal shares.
On the certainty of the object, the beneficiary must be ascertainable. Charitable trusts are exempted from this requirement. If it is a trust for members of a class, the trust must be described with sufficient precision to enable the trustee compile a list of all its members whenever a distribution is called for.
Also, a trust for purpose not having human being as beneficiaries will fail for uncertainty of object unless such purpose is described with sufficient precision. Thus, a trust for the division of the testatrix’s residuary estate among worthy causes was held void.