chapter  Chapter XVII
Land Laws 1
WithR. E. Dennett
Pages 14

In a paper which appeared in the African Journal, page 312, No. III, April, 1902, “a native of Yoruba gave an interesting account of the ‘Native System of Government and Land Tenure in the Yoruba Country.’” In this paper he states:

“All lands in the country are in the keeping of chiefs for the members of the tribe to whom the land belongs. There is not a foot of land that is not claimed or possessed by some tribe or other, and the members of each tribe can apply to their respective chiefs for a grant of land to be used and cultivated for farming or other purposes. Any land so granted becomes the property of the grantee for life and for his heirs after him in perpetuity with all that grows on it and all that lies under it. (?) 2 But such land must be made use of; i.e. it must be cultivated or used beneficially, if not, the grantee is liable to lose it, and it may then be given to another who will make use of it.