“The Court withdrew two land titles from Samuel Eto’o”. This is the rumour spread on social networks on 17 June 2017 about the former captain of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. The sharing of this news follows the publication on that day of land title forfeiture notices in the Mfoundi department whose administrative capital is Yaoundé. On this notice, the name of Samuel Eto’o is mentioned twice.
The authors of this rumour however took the word “forfeiture” in its literal meaning. Jurists explain that in legal matters, this does not mean that a land title is cancelled. “It just means that Mr Eto’o lost the first copy of his land title and he is requesting the issuance of a new copy. To do this, he made a request to the President of the High Court [TPI – Tribunal de Première Instance] to have the authorisation for the issuance of a duplicate. This authorisation is published in gazettes for land notices, and logically the first copy to be issued is cancelled. In practical terms the land titles of Mr Eto’o are not cancelled but the first copies have been lost”, explains a lawyer, Mr Serge Bayebeck.
The man of the law adds that: “the civilian court and therefore the Yaoundé Centre-administratif TPI, is not cancelling the land title. This is the responsibility of the Minister of Lands or the Administrative Court”.
Based on his explanations, in case one loses one’s land title, any owner can refer the matter to the President of the Court of First Instance where the building is located, to request the issuance of a duplicate. And through decree, the President will authorise the land Registrar to issue a duplicate to the person who made the request. This same decree cancels the lost copy of the land title and orders the publication of the forfeiture notice in the gazette of land notices, to inform the general public.