By Prince A.S. Abimbola
Lis pendens means a pending law suit. It is a Latin expression used to give a notice required to warn all parties that certain property is subject matter of litigation and that any interest acquired during the pendency of the suit must be subject to the outcome of the litigation. The doctrine of Lis pendens operate to prevent the defective transfer of any property in dispute during the pendency of the dispute.
The doctrine is designed to prevent the vendor from transferring any effective title to a purchaser by depriving him the vendor of any rights over the property during the pendency of the suit. Osagie v. Oyeyinka (1987) 3 NWLR (Pt.59) pg. 144 Abhulimen v. Namme (1992) 8 NWLR (Pt.258) pg. 202 Combined Trade Ltd. v. ASTB Ltd. (1995) 6 NWLR (Pt.404) pg. 709 Umoh v. Tita (1999) 12NWLR (Pt.631) pg. 427
I must add that the Supreme Court as the Apex Court has taken the doctrine from the realms of real property and invoked same in ordinary cases where parties have a duty to preserve the subject-matter of dispute and not foist a fait accompli on the court and the power of the court to reverse action taken pendente. Parties to proceedings pending in court ought not to do anything which may have the effect of rendering nugatory the judgment of the court. A party may not alter to his advantage or disadvantage of his opponent issues in contest in a pending suit. Per MUNTAKA-COOMASSIE, J.C.A. delivering the leading judgment in UBA V. ETIABA  6 NWLR Pt. 1082 (Pp. 31-32, paras. A-A).