By Deo Kalikumutima
Do not write off your investment in that land or property you lost to fraud. As a victim of fraud, there are steps you can take to recover your money. 9 out of 10 land cases are a result of fraud.
Anyone can be a land fraud victim since it can happen at any stage. Once you notice you have been a victim of land fraud. Engage professionals to advise you on the way forward.
Seek justice immediately. Seek and access justice because you have rights and the law has your back. What you do after getting involved in a fraudulent land purchase makes a difference. Regardless of How was the fraud carried out, you can still recover your investment; Dont just let it to waste.
Engage a lawyer to file a civil suit against the culprit to recover the money you bought the land together with interest and damages. If during the trial, you obtain a court order requiring any person not to deal with the suit land in any way until the final determination of a land case, make sure that you register it at the appropriate land registry.
If a person used a forged document like a certificate of title or power of attorney to sell land to you, commence criminal proceedings against him or her for issuing a false or forged document and obtaining money by false pretense.
You can recover land that was just grabbed. Sometimes, fraudulent persons under a ploy to grab land file a fictitious land case with one person as the “plaintiff” and the other as the “defendant”, and then obtain a court order to evict the “defendant from land which belongs to neither of them.
When you learn about such an incident, swiftly engage a competent lawyer to apply to the court to have the fictitious court order set aside. If a person fraudulently acquires a certificate of title on your already titled land, file a civil suit in the High court to have the fraudulent certificate of title cancelled.
If the registrar of titles erroneously issues a certificate of title on your land, you can write to him or her requesting it to be cancelled. You apply to the Commissioner Land Registration to cancel which is a preserve of the Commissioner.
If the registrar of titles declines your application to cancel a certificate of title mistakenly or erroneously issued on your land, file a suit in Court against the person whose name is on the title and the Commissioner Land registration to have the subject title cancelled by court.
Challenge yourself to be informed as a land fraud victim. Most people are defrauded due to lack of basic information. You cannot fight or manage what you have no information about.
Considering that 9 out of 10 land cases arise out of fraud, equipping yourself with the right information is one way to avoid land fraud and illegalities.
Even when you missed the signs that the land you were buying is prone to fraud, you can fight back and get some relief. Dont just sit there or tear the documents in anger. Prepare for a legal battle. Going to court not only helps you to get justice but as well helps to expose the fraudsters.
When you recover land you lost to fraud. You have to protect it every day. Actively occupy it and do periodic searches on the certificate of title. If you received compensation from the court as a land fraud victim, be vigilant when buying land again.
While acquiring Land, engage professionals, comply with the law and upon acquisition, physically occupy the land or property. Dont be part of the statistics on land fraud.
The 2020 Annual Police Crime report revealed that 319 land-related crimes were reported and a total of UGX. 4,108,400,000 was lost in fraudulent land transactions.
The writer is a Consultant on Land issues and the Chief Executive Partner, Kalikumutima and Company Advocates.
To engage with him on any legal land matters including fraud and evictions, call: +256200909022 or