By Damilola Aina
In a bid to avoid a breakdown of law and order emanating from land disputes, the Nigerian Institute of Surveyors has charged its members to ensure accurate coordinates of land.
The institution gave the charge during the 2023 fellows investiture of 16 members held recently in Abuja.
According to it, surveyors are essential to all forms of land dispute resolution.
Wikipedia defines as coordinates are two distances which fix the position of a point on a grid and the use of wrong coordinates can culminate into unhealthy results like environmental degradation or inter-community clashes
In his address, the guest speaker at the event, Hyacinth Moghalu, decried the perceived complicity between some surveyors and quacks to defraud prospective clients through forged signatures, distorted survey plans, fake stamps and fictitious facts in order to push innocent land purchasers into cases of unnecessary litigation.
He also stressed the need for surveyors to recover their profession from quacks and urged the inductees to strive hard to remain the beaming light of the profession.
He also urged them to always live above board in their professional journey and be conscious that to whom much is given much is expected.
Moghalu, who was represented by Chigbo Okoli, said, “The role of surveyors and the advantages of survey plan in land litigation is critical, strategic and prominent as they form the pivot on which successful land litigation can be achieved within a record time, particularly when the need for the survey plan and the surveyor’s evidence will be instrumental to determining the case.
“Globally, disputes over ownership of land and its boundaries can lead to a breakdown of law and order but the production of a well-prepared dispute survey plan is a pivotal way of demonstrating the certainty of the identity of a land in dispute. It is necessary for land litigation as a means of proving ownership of a piece of land through proper identification and must be prepared by a surveyor who is trained to also defend it in the court when called upon to so do.”
Additionally, he charged the members to avoid accepting briefs from both plaintiffs and defendants, advising them to be professional in the discharge of their duties.
“Where the land becomes a subject of litigation at any point, the parties must endeavour to hire the professional services of a licensed surveyor for the purpose of generating a dispute survey plan in proof of the accurate location, size or measurement, dimension and features of the land in dispute,” he stated.
In his remarks, the President of the institution, Kayode Oluwamotemi, congratulated the new fellows and reminded them to take on greater responsibilities after receiving the investiture.
He urged them to make themselves available at all times of need at the state and federal levels as the investiture conferred the role of professional elders on them.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the Board of Fellows, Sola Atilola, challenged the inductees to live up to professional expectations in carrying out the enormous task placed on them by the investiture.
The PUNCH reports that with the latest addition, NIS has now 469 fellows throughout Nigeria.