It is settled law that it is for a party to a contract to take all necessary precautions in order to avoid a bad bargain. See Owo v. Kasumu (1932) 11 NLR 116; the maxim is caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). It is the vendor’s duty, however, to disclose defects in his title. The law is that in a transaction of sale of land under customary law, once there is payment of the purchase price of the land to the purchaser in the presence of witnesses, title in the land passes to the purchaser. See Ogunbambi v. Abowaba 13 WACA. 222; Cole v. Folami (1956) SCNLR 180; (1956)1 FSC 66 and Ashaye v. Akerele (1968) NMLR. 190. In the instant case, no such customary sale did indeed take place and the trial court rightly so found. This is because the respondent did not pay the full price for the 4 plots of land he purported to purchase from the appellants for 950pounds with a balance of 250pounds left unpaid. The attributes of a void sale being therefore absent from the purported sale to the respondent, title thereto not having passed, the court below seriously erred when it held that under customary law the legal representatives of Jemi-Alade transferred the ownership of the land in dispute on the part-payment of the purchase price thereof.
— Onu, JSC. Odusoga v Ricketts (1997) – SC.57/1990