If a woman buys property in the name of her husband, it does not belong to him in Nigerian Law

Where a woman buys a property in the name of her husband, it does not belong to him. Rather, the husband is holding the property in trust (as a guardian, to help her keep the property) for his wife. However, where a husband buys a property in the name of his wife, the property belongs to the wife, and it is seen as a gift from him to her.

This was what the Court said in JOLUGBO & ANOR v. AINA & ANOR (2016) LPELR – 40352 (CA) (Pp 27 – 29 Paras A – D) where Hon. Justice Amina Adamu Augue JCA (as she then was) said that:

“The law also makes a distinction between the husband and the wife – when a wife buys a property, and conveys it in the name of her husband, there is no presumption of advancement in favour of her husband; he holds in trust for his wife. However, if the husband purchases a property in his wife’s name, this is prima facie a gift to her – see Silver v. Silver (1958) 1 All E. R.523.”

Thus, if a man does not desire to gift his wife a property, it should be bought in his name or in the joint names of himself and his wife.

What do you think?

Written by Tope Babade

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