Step 4: Due Diligence and Title Search

  • The Legal Unit of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) carries out a search on the Land Title Deeds and the incorporation documents of the Developer to confirm the veracity of the documents.
  • The exercise is to ensure that the Developer has the legal right on the property and that there are no encumbrances such as liens, mortgages, etc.
  • Land Titles for Mass Housing under the FISH Programme should meet the following requirements:
    • In the case of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Land title must be issued by the Director of Lands on behalf of the Hon. Minister of FCT,
    • In the case of States, Land Titles must be issued by the Hon. Commissioner in charge of Land matters on behalf of the State Governor.


  • Formal application from the Legal Unit to the Director of Lands(FCT) or the Commissioner responsible for Land matters in the case of State Governments to conduct search and determine the genuineness of titles.
  • The Developer(s) are required to avail the Search Unit of the FCT or the Ministry in charge of Land matters in the State with the Original letter of Offer of Grant, C-of-O or Letter of Intent as the case may be for sighting and research report as required by the Legal Unit of the OHCSF.
  • The Developer(s) will also be deposed to a Verifying Affidavit with the recent passport of the MD/CEOs, or the Accounting Officer(s) affixed, stating the vivid description of their land(s), traceable address, giving the number and date(s) of the Title Deed(s) with the CTC of such Deed attached to the Verifying Affidavit and submitted to the FISH Department.
  • The Verifying Affidavit must state that, the title deed is genuine, the land is free from all encumbrances and that the Management of the Developer/CEO and their successors in office shall be held liable if any of the facts in the Affidavit is found to be false at any time.
  • An Affidavit is a statement made on oath, and falsehood in an Affidavit whenever detected constitutes a criminal offence and can be acted upon by either OHCSF or the beneficiary, to get the Deponent or the successor in Office mentioned in the Affidavit prosecuted by the appropriate Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • Developers will also be required to notify the OHCSF of their Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) to enable the Legal Unit carry out search on them. However, it is advised that Developers should choose from the pool of already screened PMIs accredited by the FISH Department.
  • Developers should contact the FISH Department/Legal Unit for the list of accredited PMIs and the Template for the Verifying Affidavit.