Yoruba customary law recognises partition as one way of alienating family property. The case law is in great proliferation see for example Lewis v. Bankole (1908) 1 N.L.R. 82, Sale v. Ajisegiri 13 N.L.R. 146. In the Matter of the Estate of Edward Forshter (1988) 14 N.L.R. 83; Alhaji Olowosago and Others v. Alhaji Adebanjo and others (1988) 4 N.W.L.R. (Pt.88) 275. But before a plaintiff asks for partition he must first prove that the property concerned is family property and not the exclusive property of the defendant. He must also prove that he is a member of that family. In order to succeed in an action for partition, it is not enough to prove that the property is family property without establishing the legal nexus between the plaintiff and the property in question. A mere stranger cannot successfully sustain an action for partition of family property. He will be regarded as an intruder or a busybody. Therefore, before a plaintiff institutes an action for partition, he must prove ownership or title to the land. Ownership is a multi-referential word which does not lend itself easily to an apt or precise definition. And what is more, the issue becomes much more complex when the word is to be defined in the context of customary Land Law, such as the position we have in this matter.
— Tobi, JCA. Abraham v Olorunfunmi (1990) – CA/L/83/89