EDO STATE HIGH COURT (CIVIL PROCEDURE) RULES (2012)


 Rules in ORDER 1 – APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION
RULE 1 – APPLICATION

(1) These Rules shall apply to all proceedings including all part-heard causes and matters in respect of steps to be further taken in such causes and matters. (2) Application of these Rules shall be directed towards the achievement of a just, efficient and speedy dispensation of justice.

RULE 2 – INTERPRETATION OF TERMS

(1) These Rules shall be interpreted in accordance with the Interpretation Law, Cap. 76 Laws of Bendel State, 1976 applicable in Edo State or any re-enactment thereof. (2) Where in these Rules depositions and affidavits are required to be made, if the deponent does not understand English Language such deposition or affidavit may be made in a language he understands and shall be accompanied by interpretation thereof in English Language. (3) In the construction of these Rules, unless there is anything in the subject or context repugnant thereto, the several words hereinafter mentioned or referred to shall have or include the following meanings: “Claimant” is a person who institutes all actions in Court and shall include a claimant in a counter-claim; “Court” means the High Court of Edo State; “Court Process or Process” includes writ of summons, originating summons, originating process, notices, petitions, pleadings, orders, motions, summons, warrants and all documents filed in court or written communication of which service is required; “Decision” means any decision of a Court and includes judgment, ruling, decree, order, conviction, sentence or recommendation; “Defendant” is a person against whom an action is instituted and shall include a defendant to a counter-claim; “Guardian” means any person who has for the time being, in charge of or control over a person under legal disability and includes a person appointed to institute or defend an action on behalf of any person under legal disability; “Law’ means the High Court Law, Cap. 65, Laws of Bendel State, 1976 applicable in Edo State or any re-enactment thereof; “Minor” means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years; “Originating Process” means any court process by which a suit is initiated; “Persons Under Legal Disability” means persons who lack capacity to institute or defend any proceedings by reason of age, insanity, unsoundness of mind or otherwise; “Probate Action” means an action for the grant of probate of a Will, or Letters of Administration of the estate of a deceased person or for the revocation of such a grant or for a decree pronouncing for or against the validity of an alleged will, not being an action which is non-contentious or common form probate business; “Registrar” means the Chief Registrar, Deputy-Chief Registrar, Assistant Chief Registrar, Principal Registrar, Senior Registrar, Higher Registrar, or any other officer acting or performing the functions of a Registrar; “Registry” means the Registry of the High Court of Edo State ill the appropriate judicial division; “Taxing Officer” means the Chief Registrar or such other officer of the Court as the Chief Judge or Judge may appoint to tax costs; “Chief Judge” means the Chief Judge of Edo State; “Attorney-General” means the Attorney-General of Edo State; “Judge” means Judge of the High Court of Edo State; “Legal practitioner” means a Law Officer, a State Counsel or a Legal Practitioner entitled to practice before the Court; “Return Date” means the day endorsed o~ a court process for the appearance of the parties before the Court or any other day the Court may appoint or direct; “State” means Edo State.


 Rules in ORDER 2 – PLACE OF INSTITUTING AND TRIAL OF SUITS
RULE 1 – SUITS RELATING TO LAND AND PERSONAL PROPERTY DISTRAINED OR SEIZED

All suits relating to land or any mortgage or charge on or any interest in land, or any inquiry or damage to land and actions relating to personal property distrained or seized for any cause, shall be commenced and determined in the Judicial Division in which the land is situate or where the seizure took place.

RULE 2 – SUITS FOR RECOVERY OF PENALTIES, FORFEITURES AND AGAINST PUBLIC-OFFICERS

All actions for recovery of penalties, forfeitures and all actions against public officers shall be commenced and tried in the Judicial Division in which the cause of action arose.

RULE 3 – SUITS UPON CONTRACT

All suits for specific performance, or upon the breach of any contract, may be commenced and determined in the Judicial Division in which such contract ought to have been performed or in which the defendant resides or carries on business.

RULE 4 – OTHER SUITS

(1) All other suits may be commenced and determined in the Judicial Division in which the defendant resides or carries on business or where the cause of action arose. (2) Where there are several defendants who reside or carryon business in different Judicial Divisions, the suit may be commenced in anyone of these Judicial Divisions subject to any order or direction a Judge may make or give as to the most convenient arrangement for trial of the suit.

RULE 5 – SUITS COMMENCED IN WRONG DIVISIONS

In case any suit shall be commenced in any other Judicial Division than that in which it ought to have been commenced, the same may, notwithstanding, be tried in the Judicial Division in which it shall have been so commenced, unless the Court shall otherwise direct, or the defendant shall plead specially in objection to the jurisdiction before or at the time when he is required to state his answer or to plead in such cause.

RULE 6 – TRANSFER OF PROCEEDINGS

No proceedings which may have been taken previously to such plea in objection shall in any way be affected thereby; but the Judge shall order that the cause be transferred to the Judicial Division to which it may be proved to his satisfaction to belong, or failing such proof, that it be retained and proceeded with in the court in which it has been commenced, and such order shall not be subject to appeal.

RULE 7 – TRANSFER OF SUITS TO MAGISTRATE COURT

The Chief Judge or Judge may in any cause or matter, transfer or cause to be transferred to the Magistrate Court for hearing and determination, any cause or matter within the civil jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court.


 Rules in ORDER 3 – FORM AND COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION
RULE 1 – FORM AND COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION

Subject to the provisions of any enactment, civil proceedings may be commenced by writ, originating summons, originating motion or petition or by any other method required by these Rules of Court governing a particular subject matter.

RULE 2 – PROCEEDINGS WHICH MUST BE COMMENCED BY WRIT

Subject to the provisions of these Rules or any applicable law requiring any proceedings to be commenced otherwise than by writ, a writ of summons shall be the form of commencing all proceedings. (a) Where a claimant claims: (i) Any relief or remedy for any civil wrong; or (ii) Damages for breach of duty, whether contractual, statutory or otherwise; or (iii) Damages for personal injuries to or wrongful death of any person, or in respect of damage or injury to any person, or property. (b) Where the claim is based on or includes an allegation of fraud, or (c) Where an interested person claims a declaration

RULE 3 – MODE OF BEGINNING CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

All civil proceedings commenced by writ of summons shall be accompanied by: (a) statement of claim; (b) list of witnesses to be called at the trial; (c) written statements on oath of the witnesses provided the identity of the witnesses may be concealed by the use of alphabet; (d) list of non documentary exhibits; and (e) copies and list of every document to be relied on at the trial provided that a litigation survey plan need not be filed at the commencement of the suit.

RULE 4 – IF PLEADINGS ARE AMENDED

It shall not be necessary to file fresh sets of the processes mentioned in rule 3 of this Order if pleadings are amended.

RULE 5 – FORM OF WRIT: CIVIL FORM 1

Except in cases in which different Forms are provided in these Rules, the writ of summons shall be as in Form 1 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.

RULE 6 – FORM OF WRIT FOR SERVICE OUTSIDE NIGERIA

A writ of summons to be served out of Nigeria shall be as in Form 2 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require

RULE 7 – CIVIL FORM 2: PROCEEDINGS WHICH MAY COMMENCE BY ORIGINATING SUMMONS

Any person claiming to be interested under a Deed, Will, Enactment or other written law may apply by originating summons for the determination of any question of construction arising under the instrument and for a declaration of the rights of the persons interested.

RULE 8 – ANY PERSON CLAIMING LEGAL OR EQUITABLE RIGHTS WHICH DEPEND UPON QUESTIONS OF CONSTRUCTION OF AN ENACTMENT

Any person claiming any legal or equitable rights in a cause or matter where the determination of the question whether he is entitled to the rights depends upon a question of construction of an enactment, may apply by originating summons for the determination of such question of construction and for a declaration as to the right claimed.

RULE 9 – DISCRETION OF THE JUDGE

A Judge shall not be bound to determine any such question of construction, if in his opinion, it ought not to be determined in an originating summons but may make any such orders as he deems fit.

RULE 10 – FORMS OF ORIGINATING SUMMONS: CIVIL FORMS 3, 4, 5.

(1) An originating summons shall be as in Forms 3, 4 or 5 to these Rules with such variations as circumstances may require. It shall be prepared by the claimant or his Legal Practitioner and shall be sealed and filed in the Registry and when so sealed and filed shall be deemed to be issued. (2) An originating summons shall be accompanied by: (a) an affidavit setting out the facts relied upon; (b) all the exhibits to be relied upon; and (c) a written address in support of the application. (3) The person filing the originating summons shall leave at the Registry, sufficient number of copies thereof together with the documents in sub-rule 2 above for service on the respondent or respondents.

RULE 11 – SERVICE OUTSIDE EDO STATE; EDO STATE 1990 L.F.N.

Subject to the provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, a writ of summons or other originating process issued by the Court for service in Nigeria outside Edo State shall be endorsed by the Registrar of the Court with the following notice: “This summons (or as the case may be) is to be served out of Edo State of Nigeria and in the…….State”.

RULE 12 – ORIGINATING PROCESS TO BE TESTED BY ITS DATE

(1) The Registrar shall indicate the date and time of presentation for filing of every originating process presented to him and shall arrange for service thereof to be effected. (2) An originating process shall not be altered after it is sealed except upon application to a Judge.

RULE 13 – CONSOLIDATION OF CAUSES

Causes or matters pending in the same Court may by order of the Court be consolidated and the Court shall give directions as may be necessary with respect to the hearing of the causes or matters so consolidated.


 Rules in ORDER 4 – ENDORSEMENT OF CLAIM AND ADDRESS
RULE 1 – ENDORSEMENT

Every originating process shall contain the claim, the relief or remedy sought and the full name and address of the claimant.

RULE 2 – ENDORSEMENT TO SHOW REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY

Where a claimant sues, or the defendant or any of several defendants is sued in a representative capacity, the originating process shall state that capacity.

RULE 3 – PROBATE ACTIONS

In probate actions, the originating process shall state whether a claimant claims as creditor, executor, administrator, beneficiary, next of kin or in any other capacity.

RULE 4 – ENDORSEMENT WHERE THE CLAIM IS LIQUIDATED

Where the claim is for debt or liquidated money demand only, the originating process shall state the amount claimed for debt or in respect of such demand with costs, and shall further state that the defendant may pay the amount with costs to the claimant or legal practitioner within the time allowed for appearance and that upon such payment the proceedings shall terminate.

RULE 5 – ORDINARY ACCOUNT

In all cases where a claimant in the first instance desires to have an account taken, the originating process shall so state.

RULE 6 – ENDORSEMENT OF ADDRESS BY CLAIMANT OR HIS LEGAL PRACTITIONER

(1) A claimant suing in person shall state on the originating process, his residential or business address as his address for service. If he lives and carries on business outside the jurisdiction, he shall state an address within the jurisdiction as his address for service. (2) Endorsement of address Where a claimant sues through a legal practitioner, the legal practitioner shall state on the originating process, his chamber’s address as the address for service. If the legal practitioner is based outside the jurisdiction, he shall state a chamber’s address within the jurisdiction as his address for service.

RULE 7 – ORIGINATING PROCESS WITHOUT AN ADDRESS OR WITH FICTITIOUS ADDRESS

If the originating process does not state an address for service, it shall not be accepted and if any such address is illusory, fictitious or misleading, the process may be set aside by a Judge on the application of the defendant.


 Rules in ORDER 5 – EFFECT OF NON-COMPLIANCE
RULE 1 – NON-COMPLIANCE WITH RULES

Where in beginning or purporting to begin any proceeding there has by reason of anything done or left undone, been a failure to comply with the requirements of these rules, the failure shall not nullify the proceedings.

RULE 2 – JUDGE TO GIVE DIRECTION TO REGULARISE SUCH STEPS

Where at any stage in the course of or in connection with any proceedings, there has by reason of anything done or left undone, been a failure to comply with the requirements as to time, place, manner or form, the failure shall be treated as an irregularity and may not nullify such step taken in the proceedings. The Judge may give any direction as he thinks fit to regularise such steps.

RULE 3 – APPLICATION TO SET ASIDE FOR IRREGULARITY

The Judge shall not wholly set aside any proceedings or the writ or other originating process by which they were begun on the ground that the proceedings were required by any of these rules to be begun by an originating process other than the one employed. (1) An application to set aside for irregularity any step taken in the course of any proceedings may be allowed where it is made within a reasonable time and before the party applying has taken any fresh step after becoming aware of the irregularity. (2) An application under this rule may be made by summons or motion and the grounds of objection shall be stated in the summons or notice of motion.


 Rules in ORDER 6 – ISSUANCE OF ORIGINATING PROCESS
RULE 1 – PREPARING ORIGINATING PROCESS

Originating process shall be prepared by a claimant or his legal practitioner, and shall be clearly printed on Opaque A4 paper of good quality.

RULE 2 – SIGNING AND SEALING OF ORIGINATING PROCESS

(1) The Registrar shall sign and seal every originating process whereupon it shall be deemed to be issued. (2) A claimant or his legal practitioner shall, on presenting any originating process for signing and sealing, leave with the Registrar as many copies of the process as there are defendants to be served and one copy for endorsement of service on each defendant. (3) Each copy shall be signed by the legal practitioner or by a claimant where he sues in person.

RULE 3 – WHAT IS TO BE DONE AFTER SIGNING AND SEALING

The Registrar shall after signing and sealing an originating process, file it and note on it the date of filing and the number of copies supplied by a claimant or his legal practitioner for service on the defendants. The Registrar shall then make an entry of the filing in the cause book and identify the action with a suit number that may comprise abbreviation of the Judicial Division, a chronological number and the year of filing.

RULE 4 – COPIES TO BE SERVED

The Registrar shall promptly arrange for personal service on each defendant, of a copy of the originating process and accompanying documents.

RULE 5 – PROBATE ACTIONS: AFFIDAVIT WITH ORIGINATING PROCESS

The originating process in probate action shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by a claimant or one of several claimants verifying the contents of the process.

RULE 6 – RENEWAL OF ORIGINATING PROCESS: (CIVIL FORM 6)

(1) The life span of every originating process shall be 6 months subject to a renewal for 3 months, provided that the claimant(s) applies within 21 days of its expiration. (2) If a Judge is satisfied that it has not been possible to serve an originating process on any defendant within its life span, and a claimant applies either before or within 21 days before its expiration of renewal of the process, the Judge may renew the original or concurrent process for 3 months from the date of such renewal. A renewed originating process shall be in Form 6 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.

RULE 7 – ENDORSEMENT RENEWAL

A Judge may order two renewals in each case strictly for good cause shown and upon prompt application, provided that no originating process shall be in force for longer than a total of 12 months. The Registrar shall state the fact, date, and duration of renewal on every renewed originating process.

RULE 8 – LOSS OF ORIGINATING PROCESS

Where an originating process is lost after issue, a Judge, upon being satisfied of its loss and of the correctness of a copy process, may order the copy to be filed and sealed in place of the lost originating process.

RULE 9 – CONCURRENT ORIGINATING PROCESS

A claimant may at the issuance of an originating process or at any time during its life span, cause to be issued one or more concurrent originating processes each to bear the same date as the initial process marked ‘CONCURRENT’ and have stated on it the date of issue.

RULE 10 – CONCURRENT ORIGINATING PROCESS FOR SERVICE WITHIN AND OUT OF JURISDICTION

An originating process for service within jurisdiction may be issued and marked as a concurrent originating process with one for service out of jurisdiction, and an originating process for service out of jurisdiction may be issued and marked as a concurrent originating process with one for service within jurisdiction.


 Rules in ORDER 7 – SERVICE OF PROCESSES
RULE 1 – BY WHOM SERVICE IS TO BE EFFECTED

1. Service of originating process shall be made by a Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Bailiff, Special Marshal or other officer of the Court. The Chief Judge may also appoint and register any Law Chamber, Courier Company or any other person to serve court processes and such person or company shall be called process server. 2. Where a party is represented by a legal practitioner, service of Court process of which personal service is not required, may be made on such legal practitioner or on a person under his control. 3. A solicitor filing the process where he intends to effect service himself shall give a written undertaking.

RULE 2 – SERVICE OF ORIGINATING PROCESS, ETC. HOW EFFECTED

The process server shall serve an originating process by delivering to the party to be served, a copy of the process.

RULE 3 – WHEN ORIGINATING PROCESS NEED NOT BE SERVED PERSONALLY

No personal service of an originating process shall be required where the defendant has authorised his legal practitioner in writing to accept service and such legal practitioner enters appearance: Provided that such written authority shall be attached to the memorandum of appearance filed by such legal practitioner.

RULE 4 – MODE OF SERVICE WHEN NOT PERSONAL

All processes in respect of which personal service is not expressly required by these Rules or any applicable law shall be deemed as properly served, if left with an adult person resident or employed at the address for service given under Order 4 Rule 6.

RULE 5 – SUBSTITUTED SERVICE

(1) Where personal service of an originating process is required by these Rules or otherwise and a Judge is satisfied that prompt personal service cannot be effected, the Judge may upon application by the claimant, make such order for substituted service as may seem just. (2) Every application to the Judge for substituted or other service, or for the substitution of notice for service shall be supported by an affidavit setting forth the grounds upon which the application is made.

RULE 6 – PERSONS UNDER LEGAL DISABILITY

(1) Where a person under legal disability is defendant, service on his guardian shall be deemed good and sufficient personal service, unless a Judge otherwise orders: Provided that personal service on a minor who is over 16 years of age living independently or doing business is good and sufficient. (2) The Judge may order that personal service on a person under legal disability shall be deemed good and sufficient.

RULE 7 – PRISONER OR DETAINEE

Where a detainee or prisoner is a defendant, service on the head or other officer in charge of the station, facility or prison where the defendant is, or on an officer of the agency in charge of the station, facility or prison shall be deemed good and sufficient personal service on the defendant.

RULE 8 – PARTNERS

Where persons are sued as partners in the name of their firm, the originating process shall be served upon anyone or more of the partners at the principal place of business within the jurisdiction or upon any person having control or management of the partnership business there; and such service shall be deemed good service upon the firm whether any of the members are out of the jurisdiction or not, and no leave to issue an originating process against them shall be necessary: Provided that in the case of a partnership that has been dissolved to the knowledge of the claimant before the commencement of the action, the originating process shall be served upon every person within the jurisdiction sought to be made liable.

RULE 9 – CORPORATION OR COMPANY

Subject to any statutory provision regulating service on a registered company or corporation or body corporate, every originating process or other process requiring personal service, may be served on the organisation by delivery to a director, secretary, trustee or other senior, principal or responsible officer of the organisation, or by leaving it at the registered, principal or advertised office or place of business of the organisation within the jurisdiction.

RULE 10 – FOREIGN CORPORATION OR COMPANY CAP.90, L.F.N. 1990

When the suit is against a foreign corporation or company within the meaning of Section 54 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act having an office and carrying on business within the jurisdiction, and such suit is limited to a cause of action which arose within the jurisdiction, the originating process or other documents requiring personal service may be served on the principal officer or representative of such foreign corporation or company within the jurisdiction: Provided that where a foreign company has complied with the provision of Chapter 3 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, personal service shall be effected on one of the persons authorised to accept service on behalf of the said company.

RULE 11 – LOCAL AGENT OF PRINCIPAL WHO IS OUT OF JURISDICTION

Where a contract has been entered into within the jurisdiction by or through an agent residing or carrying on business within the jurisdiction on behalf of a principal residing or carrying on business out of the jurisdiction, an originating process in an action relating to or arising out of such contract may, before the determination of such agent’s authority or of his business relations with the principal, be served on such agent. A copy of the originating process shall be sent promptly by the claimant by courier to the defendant at his address out of the jurisdiction.

RULE 12 – WHERE VIOLENCE IS THREATENED

Where a person to be served, whether alone or in concert with others, resists service or applies or threatens violence to the process server, the process server may leave the process within the reach of the person to be served, and this shall be deemed good and sufficient service for all purposes.

RULE 13 – SERVICE OF PROCESSES GENERALLY

(1) After serving any process, the process server shall promptly depose to and file an affidavit setting out the fact, date, time, place and mode of service, describing the process served and state the circumstances of service. (2) After service, the affidavit shall be prima facie proof of service.

RULE 14 – EXPENSES OF SERVICE

(1) The party requiring service of any process shall pay in advance all charges for service except where the service to be effected is by a person appointed under Order 7 rule 1(1) and service under Order 7 rule 1(3). (2) The fee for service shall be as directed by the Chief Judge in Practice Directions from time to time.

RULE 15 – TIME OF SERVICE

(1) Service of Court processes shall be effected between the hours of 6:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m. (2) Save in exceptional circumstances and as may be authorised by a Judge, service shall not be effected on a Sunday or on a public holiday.

RULE 16 – RECORDING OF SERVICE

(1) A register shall be kept at the Registry in such form as the Chief Judge may direct, for recording service of processes by any process server. The Registrar shall record therein, the names of the claimant and defendant, the method of service, whether personal or otherwise, and the manner used to ascertain that the right person was served. (2) Where any process was not served, the cause of failure shall be recorded in the register. Every entry in such register or certified copy thereof shall be prima facie evidence of the matters stated therein.


 Rules in ORDER 8 – SERVICE OUT OF NIGERIA AND SERVICE OF FOREIGN PROCESS
RULE 1 – CASES WHERE SERVICE OF ORIGINATING PROCESS, ETC, ARE ALLOWED OUT OF NIGERIA

A Judge may allow any originating or other process to be served outside Nigeria where: (a) the whole subject-matter of the claim is land situate within jurisdiction, or (b) any act, deed, will, contract, obligation, or liability affecting land or hereditaments situate within jurisdiction, is sought to be construed, rectified, set aside or enforced, or (c) any relief is sought against any person domiciled or ordinarily resident within jurisdiction, or (d) the claim is for the administration of the personal estate of any deceased person, who at the time of his death was domiciled, within jurisdiction or for the execution (as to property situate within jurisdiction) of the trusts of any written instrument, which ought to be executed according to the law in force in Edo State, or (e) the claim is brought against the defendant to enforce, rescind, dissolve, annul or otherwise affect a contract or to recover damages or other relief for or in respect of a contract: (i) made within jurisdiction, or (ii) made by or through an agent residing or carrying on business within jurisdiction on behalf of a principal residing or carrying on business out of jurisdiction; and (iii) which by its terms or by implication is to be governed by the applicable law in Edo State, or the parties have agreed that the Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any claim in respect of such contract, or is brought against the defendant in respect of a breach committed within jurisdiction, of a contract wherever made, notwithstanding that such breach was preceded or accompanied by a breach out of jurisdiction which rendered impossible the performance of the contract which ought to have been performed within jurisdiction. (f) The claim is founded on a tort committed within jurisdiction, or (g) An injunction is sought as to anything to be done within jurisdiction, or any nuisance within jurisdiction is sought to be prevented or removed, or (h) Any person out of the jurisdiction is a necessary or proper party to an action properly brought against some other person duly served within jurisdiction, or (i) The claim is by a mortgagee or mortgagor in relation to a mortgage of property situate within jurisdiction and seeks relief of the nature or kind following, that is sale, foreclosure, delivery of possession by the mortgagor; redemption, reconveyance, delivery of possession by the mortgagee; but does not seek (unless and except so far as permissible under paragraph (e) of this Rule) any judgment or order for payment of any monies due under the mortgage, or (j) the proceedings relate to a person under legal disability, or (k) the proceedings relate to probate matters, or (l) where any proceedings under any law or rule of court has been instituted by any originating process.

RULE 2 – AGREEMENT AS TO SERVICE

Where parties have by their contract prescribed the mode or place of service, or the person that may serve or the person who may be served any process in any claim arising out of the contract, service as prescribed in the contract shall be deemed good and sufficient service.

RULE 3 – SERVICE ABROAD BY LETTER OF REQUEST

Where leave is granted to serve an originating process in any foreign country with which no convention in that behalf has been made, the following procedure may be adopted: (a) Civil Form 7 the process to be served shall be sealed with the seal of the Court for service out of Nigeria and shall be transmitted to the Solicitor -General of the Federation by the Chief Registrar, together with a copy translated into the language of that country if not English, and with a request for its further transmission to the appropriate authority in that country. The request shall be in Form 7 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require. (b) Civil Form 8 a party wishing to serve a process under this rule shall file a praecipe in Form 8 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require. (c) a certificate, declaration, affidavit or other notification of due service transmitted through diplomatic channels by a court or other appropriate authority of the foreign country to the Court, shall be deemed good and sufficient proof of service. (d) Civil Form 9 where a certificate, declaration, affidavit or other notification transmitted as aforesaid states that efforts to serve a process have failed, a Judge may, on an ex-parte application, order substituted service whereupon the process and a copy as well as the order for substituted service shall be sealed and transmitted to the Solicitor-General of the Federation together with a request in Form 9 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require provided that notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a claimant may with leave of a Judge serve any originating process by courier. Nothing herein contained shall in any way affect any power of a Judge in cases where land, funds, choses in action, rights or property within the jurisdiction are sought to be dealt with or affected. The Court may, without assuming jurisdiction over any person out of the jurisdiction, cause such person to be informed of the nature or existence of the proceedings with a view to such person having an opportunity of claiming, opposing or otherwise intervening.

RULE 4 – WHERE LEAVE IS GRANTED OR NOT REQUIRED

(1) Where leave is granted or is not required in a civil suit and it is desired to serve any process in a foreign country with which a Convention in that behalf has been made, the following procedures shall, subject to any special provisions contained in the Convention, be adopted: (a) The party desiring such service shall file in the registry, a request in Form 10 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require and the request shall state the medium through which it is desired that service shall be effected, either; (i) directly through diplomatic channels; or (ii) through the foreign judicial authority. (b) The request shall be accompanied by the original document and a translation thereof in the language of the country in which service is to be effected, certified by or on behalf of the person making the request, and a copy of each for every person to be served and any further copies which the Convention may require (unless the service is required to be made on a Nigerian subject directly through diplomatic channels in which case the translation and copies thereof need not accompany the request unless the Convention expressly requires that they should do so); (c) The documents to be served shall be sealed with the seal of the Court for use out of the jurisdiction and shall be forwarded by the Chief Registrar to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for onward transmission to the foreign country; (d) An official certificate, transmitted through the diplomatic channel by the foreign judicial authority or by a Nigerian diplomatic agent to the Court establishing the fact and the date of the service of the document shall be deemed to be sufficient proof of service within the requirements of these Rules. (2) A Judge, in granting leave to serve a process out of jurisdiction under this Order, may upon request therefore in appropriate cases, direct that courier shall be used by the party effecting service.

RULE 5 – SERVICE OF FOREIGN PROCESSES

Where in any Civil or Commercial matter pending before a Court or Tribunal of a foreign country, a letter of request from such Court or Tribunal for service of any person or citation in such matter is transmitted to the Court by the Edo State Attorney-General with intimation that it is desirable that effect be given to the same, the following procedures shall be adopted: (a) The letter of request for service shall be accompanied by a translation in English Language, and by two copies of the process or citation to be served, and two copies thereof in English Language; (b) Service of the process or citation shall be effected by a process server unless a Judge otherwise directs; (c) Such service shall be effected by delivering to and leaving with the person to be served one copy of the process or citation to be served, and one copy of the translation thereof in accordance with the rules and practice of the Court regulating service; (d) After service has been effected by the process server he shall file an affidavit of service in which he shall furnish particulars of charges for the cost of effecting the service. The affidavit shall be transmitted to the Chief Registrar with one copy of the process annexed; (e) The Chief Registrar shall examine and verify the process server’s particulars of charges and may approve it or approve some lesser figure, whereupon the Chief Judge shall forward to the Attorney – General, a letter of request for service, the approved amount for service, evidence of service and a certificate appended to it.

RULE 6 – INAPPLICABILITY OF RULE 4

Rule 4 of this Order shall not apply to or render invalid, defective or insufficient any otherwise valid or sufficient mode of service in any foreign country with which a Convention has been made, provided that no mode of service expressly excluded by the Convention shall be allowed.

RULE 7 – SERVICE ON BEHALF OF FOREIGN TRIBUNALS

Where in any civil suit pending before a Court or Tribunal in a foreign country with which a Convention in that behalf has been made, request for service of any process or document on any person within the jurisdiction is received by the Chief Judge from the appropriate authority in that country the following procedures shall, subject to any special provisions in the convention, be adopted: (a) The process server shall deliver the original or a copy thereof, along with a copy of its translation to the party to be served; (b) The process server shall submit the particulars of the costs and expenses of service to the Chief Registrar who shall certify the amount payable in respect of the service; (c) The Chief Registrar shall transmit to the appropriate foreign authority a certificate establishing the fact and date of service, or indicating reasons for failure to serve and also notify the authority as to the amount certified under paragraph (b) of this rule.

RULE 8 – SUBSTITUTED SERVICE OF FOREIGN PROCESS

In appropriate cases, upon application, a Judge may order substituted or other service of the foreign process.


 Rules in ORDER 9 – APPEARANCE
RULE 1 – MODE OF ENTRY OF APPEARANCE: CIVIL FORM II

(1) A defendant served with an originating process shall, within the period prescribed in the process for appearance, file in the registry the original and copy of a duly completed and signed memorandum of appearance as in Form 11 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require. (2) On receipt of the memorandum of appearance, the Registrar shall make entry thereof and stamp the copy showing the date he received it and return the copy to the person making the appearance. (3) A defendant entering appearance shall not later than 5 days thereafter serve a copy of the memorandum of appearance on a claimant’s legal practitioner or on the claimant if he sues in person.

RULE 2 – DEFENDANTS APPEARING IN PERSON OR REPRESENTED

(1) A defendant appearing in person shall state in the memorandum of appearance an address for service which shall be within Edo State. (2) Where a defendant appears by a legal practitioner, the legal practitioner shall state in the memorandum of appearance, his place of business and an address for service which shall be within Edo State, and where any such legal practitioner, is only the agent of another legal practitioner, he shall also insert the name and place of business of the principal legal practitioner.

RULE 3 – FICTITIOUS ADDRESS

The Registrar shall not accept any memorandum of appearance which does not contain an address for service. If any such address is illusory, fictitious or misleading, the appearance may be set aside by a Judge on the application of a claimant.

RULE 4 – DEFENDANTS APPEARING THROUGH SAME LEGAL PRACTITIONER

Where two or more defendants in the same action appear through the same legal practitioner, the memorandum of appearance shall include the names of all defendants so appearing.

RULE 5 – LATE APPEARANCE

(i) Where a defendant files a memorandum of appearance after the time prescribed in the originating process, he shall pay to the Court an additional fee of N50 (Fifty Naira) for each day of default. If the defendant files a memorandum of appearance out of time but within the time prescribed for filing his defence, he shall file his defence within that time. (ii) Where service is to be effected by persons under Order 7 rule 1(1) and Order 7 rule 1(3) failure to serve the memorandum of appearance within the time prescribed in Rule 1 (3) of this Order shall attract a penalty of N50.00 for each day of default.

RULE 6 – INTERVENER IN PROBATE MATTERS

In probate matters, any person not named in the originating process may intervene and appear in the matter on filing a motion supported by an affidavit showing his interest in the estate of the deceased

RULE 7 – RECOVERY OF LAND

Any person not named as a defendant in an originating process for recovery of land may with leave of a Judge appear and defend, on filing a motion showing that he is in possession of the land either by himself or through his tenant.

RULE 8 – LANDLORD APPEARING

Any person appearing to defend an action for the recovery of land as landlord, in respect of property of which he is in possession only through his tenant, shall state in his appearance that he appears as landlord.

RULE 9 – PERSON UNDER LEGAL DISABILITY APPEARING

A person under legal disability shall enter an appearance by his guardian.

RULE 10 – TENANT

In this Order, the word ”Tenant” includes a sub-tenant or any person occupying any premises whether on payment of rent or otherwise.


 Rules in ORDER 10 – DEFAULT OF APPEARANCE
RULE 1 – CLAIM FOR LIQUIDATED DEMAND

Where a writ of summons is endorsed for a liquidated money demand, whether specially or otherwise, and the defendant fails, or all the defendants, if more than one, fail, to appear thereto, the claimant may have entered in his favour final judgment for any sum not exceeding the sum endorsed on the writ, together with interest at the rate specified (if any), or (if no rate be specified) at the rate of six per cent per annum, to the date of the judgment and costs: Provided that this rule shall not apply to an action by a money lender or an assignee for the recovery of money lent by a money lender, or to an action for the enforcement of any agreement or security relating to any such money.

RULE 2 – LIQUIDATED DEMAND: SEVERAL DEFENDANTS

Where the writ of summons is endorsed for a liquidated money demand, whether specially or otherwise, and there are several defendants, of whom one or more appear to the writ, and another or others of them fail to appear, the claimant may have final judgment entered, as in the preceding rule, against those that have not appeared and may issue execution upon such judgment without prejudice to his right to proceed with the action against those who have appeared.

RULE 3 – RECOVERY OF LAND, ETC

(1) Where the action is for the recovery of land, with or without any other related claim, and no appearance is entered within the time limited for appearance, the claimant shall be at liberty to have judgment entered for him. (2) Where an appearance is entered but the defence is limited to a part only, the claimant may have judgment entered for him for the undefended part of his claim, and the rest of the claim may be proceeded with in the normal way.

RULE 4 – JUDGMENTS FOR COSTS WHERE SATISFACTION, ETC. UNNECESSARY

In any case to which rules 1, 2 and 3 apply, in which the defendant fails, or all the defendants, if more than one, fail to appear, but in which by reason of payment, satisfaction, abatement of nuisance, or for any other reason it is unnecessary for the claimant to proceed with the action, he may, by leave of the Court or a Judge in Chambers to be obtained on summons in Chambers, have judgment entered for costs: Provided that such summons shall be filed and shall be served in the manner in which service of the writ has been effected or in such other manner as the Court or a Judge in Chambers shall direct.

RULE 5 – DEFAULT OF APPEARANCE IN ACTIONS NOT SPECIALLY PROVIDED FOR

In all actions not specially provided for in this Order, if the defendant fails to enter appearance within the stipulated time, the claimant may apply for the case to be set down for hearing and upon such hearing, the Court may give any judgment that the claimant appears to be entitled to on the facts.

RULE 6 – SETTING ASIDE OF JUDGMENT

Where judgment is entered pursuant to any of the preceding rules of this Order, it shall be lawful for the Court or a Judge in Chambers to set aside or vary such judgment upon such terms as may be just.

RULE 7 – DEFAULT OF APPEARANCE TO ORIGINATING SUMMONS

Where a defendant or respondent to an originating summons to which an appearance is required to be entered fails to appear within the time limited, the claimant or applicant may apply to the Court or a Judge in Chambers for an appointment for the hearing of such summons and upon a certificate that no appearance has been entered, the Court or Judge shall appoint a time for the hearing of such summons, upon such conditions (if any) as it or he shall deem fit.

RULE 8 – DEFAULT OF APPEARANCE BY INFANT OR PERSON OF UNSOUND MIND

Where no appearance has been entered to a writ of summons for a defendant who is an infant or a person of unsound mind not adjudged a lunatic, the claimant shall before further proceeding with action against the defendant, apply to the Court or a Judge in Chambers for an order that some proper person be assigned guardian of such defendant by whom he may appear and defend the action: Provided that no such order shall be made unless it appears that the application was, after the expiration of the time allowed for appearance and at least six clear days before the day named in such notice for hearing the application, served upon or left at the dwelling-house of the person with whom or under whose case such defendant was at the time of serving such writ of summons, and also (in the case of such defendant being all infant not residing with or under the care of his father or guardian) serve upon or left at the dwelling-house of the father or guardian (if any) to such infant, unless the Court or Judge in Chambers at the time of hearing such application shall dispense with such last – mentioned service.

RULE 9 – LEAVE IN ACTION BY MONEY-LENDER

(1) In an action brought by a money lender or an assignee for the recovery of money lent by a money-lender or the enforcement of any agreement or security relating to any such money, an application for leave to enter judgment in default of appearance shall be made by notice returnable not less than four clear days after service of the notice. (2) The notice shall not be issued until the time limited for entering appearance has expired and a proper affidavit of service of the writ has been filed. (3) The notice shall be in accordance with Form 11A in the Appendix with such variations as circumstances may require and shall be served personally. (4) At the hearing of the application, whether the defendant appears or not, the Court or Judge in Chambers may exercise the relevant powers of the Court under the Money-lenders Law.


 Rules in ORDER 11 – SUMMARY JUDGMENT
RULE 1 – WHERE CLAIMANT BELIEVES THERE IS NO DEFENCE

Where a claimant believes that there is no defence to his claim, he shall file with his originating process the statement of claim, the exhibits, the depositions of his witnesses and an application for summary judgment which application shall be supported by an affidavit stating the grounds for his belief and written brief in respect thereof.

RULE 2 – DELIVERY OF EXTRA COPIES

A claimant shall deliver to the Registrar as many copies of all the processes and documents referred to in rule 1 of this Order as there are defendants.

RULE 3 – SERVICE

Service of all the processes and documents referred to in Rule 1 of this Order shall be effected in the manner provided under Order 7.

RULE 4 – WHERE DEFENDANT INTENDS TO DEFEND

Where a party served with the processes and documents referred to in rule 1 of this Order, intends to defend the suit he shall, not later than the time prescribed for defence, file his: (a) statement of defence; (b) depositions of his witnesses; (c) exhibits to be used in his defence; and (d) written brief in reply to the application for summary judgment.

RULE 5 – WHERE DEFENDANT HAS GOOD DEFENCE, OR HAS NO GOOD DEFENCE OR HAS GOOD DEFENCE TO PART OF THE CLAIM

(1) Where it appears to a Judge that a defendant has a good defence and ought to be permitted to defend the claim, he may be granted leave to defend. (2) Where it appears to a Judge that the defendant has no good defence, the Judge may thereupon enter judgment for a claimant. (3) Where it appears to a Judge that the defendant has a good defence to part of the claim but no defence to other parts of the claim, the Judge may thereupon enter judgment for that part of the claim to which there is no defence and grant leave to defend that part to which there is a defence.

RULE 6 – WHERE THERE ARE SEVERAL DEFENDANTS

Where there are several defendants and it appears to a Judge that any of the defendants has a good defence and ought to be permitted to defend the claim and other defendants have no good defence and ought not to be permitted to defend, the former may be permitted to defend and the Judge shall enter judgment against the latter.

RULE 7 – ORAL SUBMISSION ON WRITTEN BRIEF

Where provision is made for written briefs under these Rules, each party shall be at liberty to advance before a Judge, oral submission to expatiate his written brief.


 Rules in ORDER 12 – APPLICATION FOR ACCOUNT
RULE 1 – ORDER FOR ACCOUNT

Where in an originating process, a claimant seeks an account under Order 4 rule 5 or where the claim involves taking an account, if the defendant either fails to appear, or after appearance, fails to satisfy a Judge that there is a preliminary question to be tried, the Judge shall, on application make an order for the proper accounts, with all necessary inquiries and directions.

RULE 2 – APPLICATION: HOW MADE

An application for account shall be supported by an affidavit filed on a claimant’s behalf, stating concisely the grounds of his claim to an account. The application may be made at any time after the time prescribed for defence.

RULE 3 – ACCOUNT MAY BE TAKEN BY A JUDGE OR REFEREE

Where an order is made for account under this Order, the account may be taken by a Judge or a Referee appointed by the Judge.


 Rules in ORDER 13 – PARTIES GENERALLY
RULE 1 – PERSONS CLAIMING JOINTLY OR SEVERALLY

All persons may be joined in one action as claimant in whom any right to relief is alleged to exist whether jointly or severally, and judgment may be given for such claimant as may be found to be entitled to relief and for such relief as he or they may be entitled to, without any amendment.

RULE 2 – ACTION IN THE NAME OF WRONG CLAIMANT

Where an action has been commenced in the name of the wrong person as claimant or where it is doubtful whether it has been commenced in the name of the right claimant, a Judge may order the substitution or addition of any other person as claimant on such terms as may be just.

RULE 3 – MISJOINDER AND COUNTER-CLAIM

Where in commencing an action, any person has been wrongly or improperly included as a claimant and a defendant has set up a counter-claim or set-off, such defendant may establish his counterclaim or set-off as against the parties other than a claimant so included, notwithstanding the inclusion of such claimant or any proceeding based thereon.

RULE 4 – ANY PERSON MAY BE JOINED AS DEFENDANT

Any person may be joined as defendant against whom the right to any relief is alleged to exist, whether jointly, severally or in the alternative, judgment may be given against one or more of the defendants as may be found to be liable, according to their respective liabilities, without any amendment

RULE 5 – ACTION IN THE NAME OF WRONG DEFENDANT

Where an action has been instituted against a wrong defendant or where the name of a defendant has been incorrectly stated, a Judge may upon application, order a substitution or addition of any person as defendant or correction of such name on such terms as may be just.

RULE 6 – DEFENDANTS NEED NOT BE INTERESTED IN ALL THE RELIEFS SOUGHT

(1) It shall not be necessary that every defendant shall be interested in all the reliefs prayed in any proceeding against him. (2) A Judge upon considering the defence filed by any defendant, may on application by that defendant, make such order as may appear just to prevent him from being embarrassed or put to expense by being required to attend any proceedings in which he may have no interest.

RULE 7 – JOINDER OF PERSONS SEVERALLY LIABLE

A claimant may at his option join as parties to the same action all or any of the persons severally or jointly and severally, liable on any contract, including parties to bills of exchange and promissory notes.

RULE 8 – PERSON AGAINST WHOM REDRESS IS TO BE SOUGHT

Where a claimant is in doubt as to the person against whom he is entitled to redress, he may, in such manner as hereinafter mentioned, or as may be prescribed by any special order, join two or more defendants, with the intent that the question as to which, if any, of the defendants is liable and to what extent, may be determined as between all parties.

RULE 9 – PERSONS UNDER LEGAL DISABILITY

Persons under legal disability may sue by their guardians or defend by guardians appointed for that purpose.

RULE 10 – GUARDIAN

Where any person’s name is to be used in any action as guardian of a person under legal disability or other party or as relator, a written authority for that purpose signed by that person shall be filed in the registry.

RULE 11 – TRUSTEES, EXECUTORS SUED AS REPRESENTING THE ESTATE

Trustees, executors and administrators may sue and be sued on behalf of or as representing the property or estate of which they are trustees or representatives, without joining any of the persons beneficially interested in the trust or estate, and shall be considered as representing such persons, but a Judge may, at any stage of the proceedings order any of such persons to be made parties in addition to or in lieu of the previously existing parties. This rule shall apply to trustees, executors and administrators in proceedings to enforce a security by foreclosure or otherwise.

RULE 12 – NUMEROUS PERSONS

(1) Where there are numerous persons• having the same interest in one suit, one or more of such persons may sue or be sued on behalf of or for the benefit of all persons so interested. (2) Where there are numerous persons having the same interest in one suit and they seek to defend the action, a Judge may allow one or more of such persons to defend the action on behalf of or for the benefit of all persons so interested.

RULE 13 – REPRESENTATION OF PERSONS OR CLASSES OF PERSONS IN CERTAIN PROCEEDINGS

(1) Where in any proceedings concerning: (a) the administration of an estate; or (b) property subject to a trust; or (c) land held under customary law as family or community property; or (d) the construction of any written instrument, including a statute, a Judge is satisfied that: (i) the person, the class or some members of the class interested cannot be ascertained or cannot readily be ascertained; (ii) the person, the class or some members of the class interested if ascertained cannot be found; (iii) though the person or the class and the members thereof can be ascertained and found; it is expedient for the purpose of efficient procedure that one or more persons be appointed to represent that person or class or member of the class, the Judge may make the appointment. The decision of the Judge in the proceedings shall be binding on the person or class of persons so represented. (2) Notice of appointment made by a Judge under this rule and all processes filed in court shall be served on a person(s) so appointed. (3) If in any proceedings mentioned in sub-rule 1 of this Rule, several persons having the same interest in relation to the matter to be determined attend the hearing by separate legal practitioners, then, unless the Judge considers that the circumstances justify separate representation, not more than one set of costs of the hearing shall be allowed to these persons, and the judgment or order shall be framed accordingly. (4) In this Rule, the word “Class” includes the persons recognised by Customary Law as members of a family or as members of a land owning community.

RULE 14 – POWER TO APPROVE COMPROMISE

Where in any proceedings mentioned in sub-rule (1) of Rule 13 of this Order, a compromise is proposed and some of the absent persons who are interested in or may be affected by the compromise are not parties to the proceedings (including unborn or unascertained persons) but where: (i) there are some other persons having the same interest before the Court who assent to the compromise, or on whose behalf the Court sanctions the compromise; or (ii) the absent persons are represented by a person under Rule 13 of this Order who so assents. A Judge if satisfied that the compromise will be for the benefit of the absent persons and that it is expedient to exercise this power, may approve the compromise and order that such compromise shall be binding on the absent persons, and they shall be bound accordingly, except where the order has been obtained by fraud or non-disclosure of material facts.

RULE 15 – WHERE THERE IS NO PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

(1) If in any proceedings, it appears to a Judge that any deceased person who was interested in the proceedings has no legal personal representative, the Judge may proceed in the absence of any person representing the estate of the deceased person, or may appoint some person to represent his estate for the purpose of the proceeding, on such notice to such persons (if any) as the Judge shall deem fit, either specifically or generally by public advertisement, and the order so made and any order consequent thereon shall bind the estate of the deceased person in the same manner in every respect as if a duly constituted legal personal representative of the deceased had been a party to the proceedings. (2) Where a sole or sole surviving claimants or defendant in a proceeding dies and the cause of action survives but the person entitled to proceed fails to proceed, a Judge may on the application of either the deceased’s Legal Practitioner or the opposing party order any person to take the place of the said deceased and proceed with the suit. (3) In default of such application or where the person substituted fails to proceed, judgment may be entered for the defendant or as the case may be for the person against whom the proceedings might have been continued.

RULE 16 – PROCEEDINGS NOT DEFEATED BY MISJOINDER OR NON-JOINDER

(1) No proceedings shall be defeated by reason of misjoinder or non-joinder of parties, and a Judge may deal with the matter in controversy so far as regards the rights and interest of the parties actually before him. (2) A Judge, may at any stage of the proceedings, either upon or without the application of either party, and on such terms as may appear to the Judge to be just, order that the names of any parties improperly joined be struck out. (3) A Judge may order that the names of any party who ought to have been joined or whose presence before the Court is necessary to effectually and completely adjudicate upon and settle the questions involved in the proceedings be added. (4) No person under legal disability shall be added as a claimant suing without a guardian and no person shall be added as the guardian of a claimant under legal disability without his own consent in writing. (5) Every party whose name is added as defendant shall be served with the originating processes or notice in the manner prescribed in these Rules or in such manner as may be prescribed by a Judge and the proceedings against such person shall be deemed to have begun on the service of such originating processes or notice.

RULE 17 – APPLICATION TO ADD OR STRIKE OUT

(1) Any application to add, strike out, substitute or vary the name of a claimant or defendant may be made to a Judge by motion. (2) Where the application is to add a claimant or a defendant, the application shall be accompanied by the statement of claim or defence as the case may be, all the exhibits intended to be used and the depositions of all the witnesses: Provided that where the application is to substitute a deceased party with another person the application may not be accompanied by the documents specified above.

RULE 18 – WHERE DEFENDANT IS ADDED

Where a defendant is added or substituted, the originating process shall be amended accordingly and the claimant shall unless otherwise ordered by a Judge, file an amended originating process and cause the new defendant to be served in the same manner as the original defendant.

RULE 19 – THIRD PARTIES MAY BE JOINED BY ANY OF THE PARTIES

(1) Where it appears to a Judge that any person not a party in the proceedings may bear eventual liability either in whole or in part, the Judge may upon an ex-parte application allow that person to be joined as a third party by any of the Defendants. The application shall state the grounds for the applicant’s belief that such third party may bear eventual liability. (2) The Order and existing processes shall be served on the third party within the time prescribed for delivering of the defence

RULE 20 – APPEARANCE BY THIRD PARTY

Where a party is joined to any proceeding as a third party, he may after service enter appearance within 8 days or within 30 days if he resides or carries on business outside jurisdiction or within such further time as a Judge may order.

RULE 21 – DEFAULT BY THIRD PARTY

If a third party duly served with the order and all existing processes does not enter an appearance or makes default in filing any pleading, he shall be deemed to admit the validity of the claim and shall be bound by any judgment given in the action, whether by consent or otherwise.

RULE 22 – SUBSEQUENT THIRD PARTY

A party joined as a third party in any proceedings may join any other party in the same manner as he was joined and the expression “Third Party” shall apply to and include every person so joined.

RULE 23 – CLAIM AGAINST CO-DEFENDANT

A defendant may in his pleading make a claim against a codefendant.

RULE 24 – PERSONS TRADING AS FIRM

II Actions against Firms and Persons carrying on Business in names other than their own Any person carrying on business within the jurisdiction in a name, or style other than his own name, may sue or be sued in his own name or style as if it were a firm’ s name and so far as the nature of the case will permit, all rules relating to proceedings against firms shall apply.

RULE 25 – WHERE CHANGE OF INTEREST, COURT MAY MAKE ORDER ENABLING SUIT TO PROCEED

(1) Where after the institution of a suit, any change or transmission of interest or liability occurs in relation to any party to the suit, or any party to the suit dies or becomes incapable of carrying on the suit, or the suit in any other may become defective or incapable of being carried on, any person interested may obtain from the Court, any order requisite for curing the defect or enabling or compelling proper parties to carry on the proceedings. (2) But any person served with such an order may, within such time as the Court in the order directs, apply to the Court to discharge or vary the order.

RULE 26 – WHEN SUIT DOES NOT ABATE

The death of a claimant or defendant shall not cause the suit to abate if the cause of action survives.

RULE 27 – WHEN CAUSE OF ACTION SURVIVES

If there be two or more claimants or defendants and one of them dies, and if the cause of action survives the surviving claimant or claimants alone, or against the surviving defendant or defendants alone, the suit shall proceed at the instance of the surviving claimant or claimants, and against the surviving defendant or defendants.

RULE 28 – WHEN CAUSE OF ACTION ACCRUES TO SURVIVORS

If there be two or more claimants and one of them dies, and if the cause of action shall not survive to the surviving claimant or claimants alone, but shall survive to them and the legal representative of the deceased claimant jointly, the Court may, on the application of the legal representative of the deceased claimant, enter the name of such representative in the place of such deceased claimant, and the suit shall proceed at the instance of the surviving claimant or claimants and such legal representative of the deceased claimant. If no application shall be made to the Court by any person claiming to be the legal representative of the deceased claimant, the suit shall proceed at the instance of the surviving claimant or claimants; and the legal representative of the deceased claimant shall, after notice to appear has been served on him be presumed to be interested in, and shall be bound by the judgment given in the suit, in the same manner as if the suit had proceeded at his instance jointly with the surviving claimant or claimants, unless the Court shall see cause to direct otherwise.

RULE 29 – DEATH OF SOLE OR SURVIVING CLAIMANT

In case of the death of a sole claimant, or sole surviving claimant, the Court may, on the application of the legal representative of such claimant, enter the name of such representative in the place of such claimant in the suit, and the suit shall thereupon proceed. If no such application shall be made to the Court within what it may consider a reasonable time by any person claiming to be legal representative of the deceased sole claimant or sole surviving claimant, it shall be competent for the Court to make an order that the suit shall abate, and to award to the defendant the reasonable costs which he may incur in defending the suit, to be recovered from the estate of the deceased sole claimant or surviving claimant; or the Court may, if it thinks proper, on the application of the defendant and upon such terms as to costs as may seem just, make such order for bringing in the legal representative of the deceased sole claimant or surviving claimant, and for proceeding with the suit to a final determination of the matters in dispute, as may appear just and proper in the circumstances of the case.

RULE 30 – DISPUTE AS TO LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE

If any dispute arises as to who is the legal representative of a deceased claimant, it shall be competent for the Court either to stay the suit until the fact has been duly determined in another suit, or to decide at or before the hearing of the suit who shall be admitted to be such legal representative for the purpose of prosecuting that suit.

RULE 31 – DEATH OF ONE OF SEVERAL DEFENDANTS OR OF A SOLE OR SURVIVING DEFENDANT

If there be two or more defendants and when one of them dies, the cause of action survives but does not survive against the surviving defendant or defendants alone, and also in the case of the death of a sole defendant, or sole surviving defendant, where the action survives, the claimant may make an application to the Court, specifying the name, description and place of abode of any person who the claimant alleges to be the legal representative of such defendant and whom he desires to be made the defendant in his stead; and the Court shall thereupon enter the name of such representative in the suit in the place of such defendant, and shall issue an order to him to appear on a day to be therein mentioned to defend the suit and the case shall thereupon proceed in the same manner as if such representative had originally been made a defendant, and had been a party to the former proceedings in the suit.

RULE 32 – BANKRUPTCY OF CLAIMANT

The bankruptcy of the claimant, in any suit which the assignee or trustee might maintain for the benefit of the creditors, shall not be a valid objection to the continuance of such suit, unless the assignee or trustee shall decline to continue the suit, or shall neglect or refuse to give security for the costs thereof, within such reasonable time as the Court may order. If the assignee or trustee neglects or refuses to continue the suit and to give such security within the time limited by the order, the defendant may, within eight days after such neglect or refusal, plead the bankruptcy of the claimant as a reason for abating the suit.

RULE 33 – LEGAL PRACTITIONER OF CLAIMANT TO GIVE NOTICE OF ABATEMENT

Where any cause or matter becomes abated or in the case of any such change of interest as is by these Rules provided for, the legal practitioner for the claimant or person having the conduct of the cause or matter, as the case may be, shall certify the fact to the Registrar, who shall cause an entry thereof to be made in the Cause Book opposite the name of such cause or matter.

RULE 34 – ABATED CAUSE, ETC, TO BE STRUCK OUT

Where any cause or matter shall have been standing for one year in the Cause Book marked as “abated” or “standing over generally”, such cause or matter, at the expiration of the year, shall be struck out of the Cause Book.

RULE 35 – ACTS MAY BE DONE BY LEGAL PRACTITIONER OR AGENT

Where by these Rules, any act may be done by any party in any proceedings, such act may be done either by the party in person, or by his legal practitioner, or by his agent (unless an agent is expressly barred under these Rules).

RULE 36 – COMMITTAL FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT

(1) The power of the Court to punish for contempt of Court may be exercised by an order of committal. (2) An order of committal may be made by the Court where contempt of Court: (a) is committed in connection with- (i) any proceeding before the Court; (ii) criminal Proceedings, (b) is committed in the face of the Court, or consists of disobedience to an order of the Court or a breach of an undertaking to the Court; or (c) is committed otherwise than in connection with any proceeding. (3) Savings for power to commit without application for the purpose Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Order shall be taken as affecting the power of the Court to make an order of committal of its own motion against a person guilty of contempt of Court.

RULE 37 – DEFINITION

(1) In this Order, unless the context otherwise requires, “writ of execution” includes a writ of fieri facias, a writ of possession, a writ of delivery, a writ of sequestration and any further writ in aid of any of the aforementioned writs. When leave to issue any writ of execution is necessary 2 (1) A writ of execution to enforce a judgment or order may not be issued without the leave of the Court in following cases, that is to say where: (a) six years or more have elapsed since the date of the judgment order; or (b) any change has taken place, whether by death or otherwise, in the parties entitled or liable to execution under the judgment order; or (c) the judgment or order is against the assets of a deceased person coming to the hands of his executors or administrators after the date of the judgment or order, and it is sought to issue execution against the assets; or (d) under the judgment or order any person is entitled to relief subject to the fulfillment of any condition which it is alleged as been fulfilled; or (e) any goods sought to be seized under a writ of execution in the hand of a receiver appointed by the Court or a sequestrator. (2) Sub-rule (1) of this rule is without prejudice to any enactment or rule by virtue of which a person is required to obtain the leave of the Court for the issuance of a writ of execution or to proceed to execution on or otherwise to the enforcement of ajudgment or order. (3) Where the Court grants leave, whether under this rule or otherwise, for the issuance of a writ of execution and the writ is not issued within one year after the date of the order granting such leave, the order shall cease to have effect, without prejudice, however, to the making of a fresh order. Leave required for issuance of writ in aid of other writ (3) A writ of execution in aid of any other writ of execution shall not be issued without the leave of the Court. (4) Application for leave to issue writ (1) An application for leave to issue a writ of execution may be made ex-parte unless the Court directs it to be made by summons. (2) Such an application shall be supported by an affidavit: (a) identifying the judgment or order to which the application relates and, if the judgment or order is for the payment of money, stating the amount originally due there under and the amount due thereunder at the date of the application; (b) stating, where the case falls within rule 2(1) (a) of this Order, the reasons for the delay in enforcing the judgment or Order; (c) stating, where the case falls within rule 2(1) (b) of this Order, the change which has taken place in the parties entitled or liable to execution since the date of the judgment or Order; (d) stating, where the case falls within rule 2(1) (c) or (d) of this Order, that a demand to satisfy the judgment or order was made on the person liable to satisfy it and that he has refused or failed to do so; (e) giving such other information as is necessary to satisfy the Court that the applicant is entitled to proceed to execution on the judgment or order in question and that the person against whom it is sought to issue execution is liable to execute on it. (3) The Court hearing the application, may grant leave in accordance with the application or may order that any issue or question, a decision on which is necessary to determine the rights of the parties, be tried in any manner in which any question of fact or law arising in an action may be tried and, in either case, may impose such terms as to costs or otherwise as it thinks just.

RULE 38 – ATTACHMENT OF DEBT DUE TO JUDGMENT DEBTOR

(1) Where a person (in this Order referred to as “the judgment creditor”) has obtained a judgment or order for the payment by some other person (in this Order referred to as “the judgment debtor”) of a sum of amount in value to at least N20,000 not being a judgment or order for the payment of money into Court, and any other person within the jurisdiction (in this Order referred to as “the garnishee”) is indebted to the judgment debtor, the Court may, subject to the provisions of this Order and of any enactment, order the garnishee to pay the judgment creditor, the amount of any debt due or accruing to the judgment debtor from the garnishee, or as much thereof as is sufficient to satisfy that judgment or order and the costs of the garnishee proceedings. (2) An order under this rule shall, in the first instance, be an order to show cause, specifying the time and place for further consideration of the matter and in the meantime, attaching such debt as is mentioned in sub-rule (1) or so much therefore as may be specified in the order, to answer the judgment or order mentioned therein and the costs of the garnishee proceedings. (3) An order under this rule shall not require a payment which would reduce below N5,000 the amount standing in the name of the judgment debtor in an account with a building society or a credit union.

RULE 39 – APPLICATION FOR ORDER

An application for an order under Rule 1 of this Order shall be made ex-parte supported by an affidavit: (1) stating the name and last known address of the judgment debtor; (2) indenting the judgment or order to be enforced and stating the amount other judgment or order and the amount remaining unpaid under it as (at) the time of the application; (3) stating, that to the best of the information or belief of the deponent the garnishee (naming him) is within the jurisdiction and is indebted to the judgment debtor and stating the sources of the deponent’s information or the grounds for his belief; and (4) stating, whether the garnishee is a deposit-taking institution having more than one place of business, the name and address of the branch at which the judgment debtor’s account is believed to be held and the number of that account or, if it be the case, that all or part of this information is not known to the deponent.

RULE 40 – SERVICE AND EFFECT OF ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

(1) Unless the Court otherwise directs, an order under rule 1 of this Order to show cause shall be served: (a) on the garnishee personally, at least, fifteen days before the day appointed thereby for the further consideration of the matter; and (b) on the judgment debtor, at least seven days after the order has been served on the garnishee and at least seven days before the day appointed for the further consideration of the matter. (2) An order under rule 1 of this Order shall bind in the hands of the garnishee as from the service of the order on him any debt specified in the order or so much thereof as may be so specified. Non-appearance or dispute of liability garnishee (a) Where on the further consideration of the matter, the garnishee does not attend or does not dispute the debt due or claimed to be due from him to the judgment debtor, the Court may make an order absolute under Rule 1 of this order against the garnishee. (b) An order absolute under rule 1 of this Order against the garnishee may be enforced in the same manner as any order for the payment of money.

RULE 41 – DISPUTE LIABILITY GARNISHEE

Where on the further consideration of the matter, the garnishee disputes liability to pay the debt due or claimed to be due from him to the judgment debtor, the Court may summarily determine the question at issue or order that any question necessary for determining the liability of the garnishee be tried, without, if it orders trial before a matter, the need for any consent by the parties.

RULE 42 – CLAIM OF THIRD PERSON

If in garnishee proceedings, it is brought to the notice of the Court that some other person other than the judgment debtor is or claims to be entitled to the debt sought to be attached or has or claims to have a share upon, the Court may order that person to attend before the Court and state the nature of his claim with particulars thereof.

RULE 43 – DISCHARGE GARNISHEE

Any payment made by a garnishee in compliance with an order absolute under this Order and any execution levied against him in pursuance of such an order, shall be a valid discharge of liability to the judgment debtor to the extent of the amount paid or levied notwithstanding that the garnishee proceedings are subsequently set aside or judgment or order from which they arose is reversed.


 Rules in ORDER 14 – JOINDER OF CAUSE OF ACTION
RULE 1 – ALL CAUSES OF ACTION MAY BE JOINED

Subject to the following rules of this Order, the claimant may unite in the same action several causes of action; but if it appears that they cannot be conveniently tried or disposed of together, a Judge may order separate trials of any such causes of action, or may make such order as may be necessary or expedient for the separate disposal thereof.

RULE 2 – RECOVERY OF LAND

(1) An action for recovery of land may be joined with an action for declaration of title, mesne profit or arrears of rent, damages for breach of any contract under which the land or any part thereof is held, or for any wrong or injury to the premises. (2) An action for foreclosure or redemption may be joined with a claim for delivery of possession of the mortgaged property and a claim for payment of principal money or interest secured by or any other relief in respect of the mortgage of or charge on such land.

RULE 3 – EXECUTOR AND ADMINISTRATOR

Claims by or against an executor or administrator as such may be joined with claims by or against him personally, provided the last -mentioned claims are alleged to arise with reference to the estate in respect of which the claimant or defendant sues or is sued as executor or administrator.

RULE 4 – CLAIMS BY JOINT-CLAIMANTS

Claims by claimant jointly may be joined with claims by them or any of them separately against the same defendant.


 Rules in ORDER 15 – PLEADINGS
RULE 1 – FILING OF PLEADINGS

(1) A statement of claim shall include the relief or remedy to which a claimant claims to be entitled. (2) A defendant shall file his statement of defence, set-off or counter-claim, if any, not later than 42 days after service on him of the claimant’s originating process and accompanying documents. A counter-claim shall have the same effect as a cross action, so as to enable the Court pronounce a final judgment in the same proceedings. A set-off must be specifically pleaded. (3) A claimant shall within 14 days of service of the statement of defence and counter-claim if any, file his reply, if any, to such defence or defence to counter-claim: Provided that Where a defendant sets up a counter-claim, if a claimant or any other person named as party to such counterclaim contends that the claim thereby raised ought not to be disposed of by way of counter-claim, but in an independent proceeding, a Judge may at anytime order that such counterclaim be excluded.

RULE 2 – PLEADINGS TO STATE MATERIAL FACTS AND NOT EVIDENCE

Every pleading shall contain a statement in a summary form of the material facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or defence, as the case may be, but not the evidence by which they are to be proved and shall, when necessary be divided into paragraphs numbered consecutively. Dates, sums and numbers shall be expressed in figures. Pleadings shall be signed by a legal practitioner or by the party if he sues or defends in person.

RULE 3 – PARTICULARS TO BE GIVEN WHERE NECESSARY

(1) In all cases in which the party pleading relies on any misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust, willful default, or undue influence and in all other cases, in which particulars may be necessary, particulars (with dates and items if necessary) shall be stated in the pleadings. (2) In an action for libel or slander, if the claimant alleges that the words or matters complained of were used in a defamatory sense other than their ordinary meaning, he shall give particulars of the facts and matters on which he relies in support of his allegation.

RULE 4 – FURTHER AND BETTER STATEMENT OR PARTICULAR

An application for a further and better statement of the nature of the claim or defence or further and better particulars of any matter stated in any pleadings requiring particulars shall be made to a Judge at the trial. The Judge may grant such application upon such terms as may be just.

RULE 5 – DENIAL

(1) Every allegation of fact in any pleadings, if not specifically denied in the pleadings of the opposite party, shall be taken as admitted except as against a person under legal disability. (2) A general denial in any pleadings shall not operate as denial of any specific fact in the pleadings of the opposing party.

RULE 6 – CONDITIONS PRECEDENT

Each party shall specify distinctly in his pleadings, any condition precedent, the performance or occurrence of which is intended to be contested.

RULE 7 – DEFENCE, CERTAIN FACTS SURPRISE TO BE SPECIFICALLY PLEADED

(1) All grounds of defence or reply which make an action not maintainable or if not raised will take the opposite party by surprise or will raise issues of facts not arising out of the proceedings to the pleadings, shall be specifically pleaded. (2) Where a party raises any ground which makes a transaction void or voidable or such matters as fraud, Limitation Law, release, payment, performance, facts showing insufficiency in contract or illegality, either by any enactment or by common law, he shall specifically plead same.

RULE 8 – PLEADINGS TO BE CONSISTENT

No pleadings shall raise any new ground of claim or contain any allegation of fact inconsistent with the previous pleadings of the party pleading the same.

RULE 9 – JOINDER OF ISSUES

A party may, by his pleadings, join issues upon the pleadings of the opposing party and such joinder of issues shall operate as a denial of every material allegation of fact in the pleadings upon which issue is joined except any fact which the party may be willing to admit.

RULE 10 – EFFECT OF DOCUMENTS TO BE STATED

Wherever the contents of any documents are material, it shall be sufficient in any pleadings to state the effect thereof as briefly as possible, without setting out the whole or any part thereof, unless the precise words of the document or any part thereof are material.

RULE 11 – NOTICE

Wherever it is material to allege notice to any person of any fact, matter or thing, it shall be sufficient to allege such notice as a fact, unless the form or the precise terms of such notice or the circumstances from which such notice is to be inferred are material

RULE 12 – IMPLIED CONTRACT OR RELATIONSHIP

Wherever any contract or any relation between any persons is to be implied from a series of letters or conversations, or otherwise from a number of circumstances, it shall be sufficient to allege such contract or relation as a fact, and to refer generally to such letters, conversation or circumstances without setting them out in details. If in such case, the person so pleading desires to rely, in the alternative, upon more contracts or relationship than one as to be implied from such circumstances, he may state the same in the alternative.

RULE 13 – PRESUMPTION OF LAW

A party may not allege in any pleadings any matter or fact the law presumes in his favour or as to which the burden of proof lies upon the other side, unless the same has first been specifically denied.

RULE 14 – STATED OR SETTLED ACCOUNT

In every case in which the cause of action is a stated or settled account, the same shall be alleged with particulars but in every case in which a statement of account is relied on by way of evidence or admission of any other cause of action which is pleaded, the same shall not be alleged in the pleadings.

RULE 15 – TECHNICAL OBJECTION

No technical objection shall be raised to any pleading on the ground of any alleged want of form.

RULE 16 – STRIKING OUT OF PLEADINGS

A Judge may, at the trial in any proceedings, order to be struck out or amended, any matter in any endorsement or pleadings which may be unnecessary or scandalous or which may tend to prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the action; and may in any such case, if the Judge shall deem fit, order costs of the application to be paid as between legal practitioner and client.

RULE 17 – DEFAMATION

(1) Wherever it is material to allege malice, fraudulent intention, knowledge or other condition of the mind of any person, it shall be sufficient to allege the same as a fact without setting out the circumstances from which the same is to be inferred. (2) Where in an action for libel or slander, the defendant pleads that any of the words or matters complained of are fair comment on a matter of public interest or were published upon a privileged occasion, the claimant shall, if he intends to allege that the defendant was actuated by express malice, deliver a reply giving particulars of the facts and matters from which such malice is to be inferred. (3) Where in an action for libel or slander a defendant alleges that in so far as the words complained of consist of statement of fact, that are true in substance and in fact, and in so far as they consist of expressions of opinion, they are fair comment on a matter of public interest, or pleads to the like effect, he shall give particulars stating which of the facts and matters he relies on in support of the allegation that the words are true.

RULE 18 – WHERE PLEADINGS DISCLOSE NO REASONABLE CAUSE OF ACTION

(1) The Judge, may at any stage of the proceedings, order to be struck out or amended any pleading or the endorsement of any writ in the action, or anything in any pleading or in the endorsement, on the ground that: (a) it discloses no reasonable cause of action or defence, as the case may be; or (b) it is scandalous, frivolous or vexatious; or (c) it may prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the action; or (d) it is otherwise an abuse of the process of the Court; And may order the action to be stayed or dismissed or judgment to be entered accordingly, as the case maybe. (2) No evidence/shall be admissible on application under paragraph (1) (a). (3) This rule shall, so far as applicable, apply to an originating summons and a petition as if the summons or petitions, as the case may be, were pleadings.

RULE 19 – CLOSE OF PLEADINGS

(1) Where pleadings subsequent to reply is not ordered, then, at the expiration of 7 days from the service of the defence or reply (if a reply has been filed) pleadings shall be deemed closed. (2) Where pleadings subsequent to reply is ordered, and the party who has been ordered or given leave to file same, fails to do so within the period limited for that purpose, then; at the expiration of the period so limited, the pleadings shall be deemed closed: Provided that this rule shall not apply to a defence to counterclaim and unless the claimant files a defence to counter-claim, the statements of fact contained in such counter-claim shall at the expiration of 14 days from the service thereof or of such time (if any), as may by order be allowed for filing of a defence thereto be deemed to be admitted, but the Judge may, at any subsequent time, give leave to the claimant to file a defence to counter-claim.


 Rules in ORDER 16 – STATEMENT OF CLAIM
RULE 1 – STATEMENT OF CLAIM

(a) Every statement of claim, or counter-claim shall state specifically the relief claimed either singly or in the alternative and it shall not be necessary to ask for general or other relief, which may be given as a Judge may think just as if it had been asked for. (b) Where the claimant seeks relief in respect of several distinct claims or causes of complaint founded upon separate and distinct grounds, they shall be stated, as far as may be, separately and distinctly. The same rule shall apply where the defendant relies upon several distinct grounds of defence, set-off or counter-claim founded upon separate and distinct facts.

RULE 2 – CLAIM BEYOND ENDORSEMENT

Whenever a statement of claim is filed, the claimant may alter, modify or extend his claim without any amendment of the endorsements of the writ: Provided that the claimant may not completely change his cause of action endorsed on the writ without amending the writ.


 Rules in ORDER 17 – STATEMENT OF DEFENCE AND COUNTER-CLAIM
RULE 1 – STATEMENT OF DEFENCE

The statement of defence shall be a statement in summary form and shall be supported by copies of documentary evidence, list of witnesses and their written statements on oath.

RULE 2 – EVASIVE DENIAL

When a party in any pleadings denies an allegation of fact in the previous pleadings of the opposite party, he shall not do so evasively, but answer the point of substance.

RULE 3 – DENIAL GENERALLY

(1) In an action for debt or liquidated money demand, a mere denial of the debt shall not be sufficient defence. (2) In an action for money had and received, a defence in denial must deny the receipt of the money or the existence of those facts which are alleged to make such receipt by the defendant a receipt to the use of the claimant. (3) In an action for goods sold and delivered, the defence must deny the order or contract, the delivery, or the amount claimed. (4) In an action upon a bill of exchange, promissory note or cheque, a defence in denial must deny some matter of fact, e.g., the drawing, making, endorsing, accepting, presenting or notice of dishonour of the bill or note.

RULE 4 – PERSONS IN REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY

If either party wishes to deny the right of any other party to claim as executor, or a trustee or in any representative or other alleged capacity, or the alleged constitution of any partnership firm, he shall deny the same specifically.

RULE 5 – PLEADING TO DAMAGES

No denial or defence shall be necessary as to damages claimed or their amount; they are deemed to be in issue in all cases, unless expressly admitted.

RULE 6 – SET-OFF AND COUNTER-CLAIM

Where any defendant seeks to rely upon any ground as supporting a right of set-off or counter-claim, he shall in his defence state specifically that he does so by way of supporting a right of set off or counter-claim.

RULE 7 – TITLE OF COUNTER-CLAIM

Where a defendant by his defence sets up any counter-claim which raises questions between himself and the claimant along with any other persons, he shall add to the title of his defence a further title similar to the title in a statement of claim, setting forth the names of all persons who, if such counter-claim were to be enforced by cross action, would be defendants to such cross action, and shall deliver his defence to such number of them as are parties to the action within the period which he is required to deliver it to the claimant.

RULE 8 – CLAIM AGAINST PERSONS NOT PART OF (CIVIL FORM 12)

Where any such person as in rule 7 of this Order is not a party to the action, he shall be summoned to appear by being served with a copy of the defence and counter-claim, and such service shall be regulated by the same rules as those governing the service of the originating process and every defence and counter-claim so served shall be endorsed in Form 12 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.

RULE 9 – APPEARANCE

Any person not already a party to the action, who is served with a defence and counter-claim as aforesaid, must appear thereto as if he had been served with an originating process to appear in an action

RULE 10 – REPLY TO COUNTER-CLAIM

Any person not already a party to the action, who is named in a defence as a party to a counter-claim thereby made, shall deliver a defence in a mode and manner prescribed under this order and the provisions of the order shall apply to such a person.

RULE 11 – DISCONTINUANCE: THE CLAIMANT’S CLAIM

If, in any case in which the defendant sets up a counter-claim, the action of the claimant is stayed, discontinued or dismissed, the counter-claim may nevertheless be proceeded with.

RULE 12 – JUDGMENT BALANCE

Where in an action, a set-off or counter-claim is established as a defence against the Claimant’s claim, the Judge may, if the balance is in favour of the defendant, give judgment for the defendant for such balance, or may otherwise adjudge to the defendant such relief as he may be entitled to upon the merits of the case.

RULE 13 – GROUND OF DEFENCE AFTER ACTION BROUGHT

(1) Any ground of defence which arises after the action has been filed, but before the defendant has delivered his defence and before the time limited for doing so has expired, may be raised by the defendant in his defence, either alone or together with other grounds of defence. (2) If after a defence has been delivered along with a setoff or counter-claim, any basis for answer or ground of defence arises to any such set-off or counter-claim respectively, it may be raised by the claimant in his reply (in the case of a set-off) or defence to counterclaim, either alone or together with any other ground of reply or defence to counter-claim.

RULE 14 – FURTHER DEFENCE OR REPLY

Where any ground of defence arises after the defendant has delivered a defence, or after the time limited for his doing so has expired, the defendant may and where any ground of defence to any set-off or counter-claim arises after reply, or after the time limited for delivery of a reply has expired, the claimant may, within 8 days after such ground of defence has arisen or at any subsequent time by leave of a Judge deliver a further defence or further reply, as the case may be setting forth the same.

RULE 15 – CONCESSION TO DEFENDANT (CIVIL FORM 13)

Whenever any defendant in his defence or in any further defence pursuant to rule 14 of this Order alleges any ground of defence which has arisen after the commencement of the action, the claimant may concede to such defence (which concession may be in Form 13 with such modification as circumstances may require) and may thereupon obtain judgment up to the time of the pleading of such defence, unless the Judge either before or after the delivery of such concession otherwise orders.

RULE 16 – DEFENCE TO ORIGINATING SUMMONS

A respondent to an originating summons shall file a counter affidavit together with all the exhibits he intends to rely upon and a written address within 21 days after service of the originating summons.


 Rules in ORDER 18 – REPLY
RULE 1 – FILING OF REPLY

Where the claimant desires to make a reply, he shall file it within 14 days from the service of the defence.

RULE 2 – REPLY TO COUNTER-CLAIM

Where there is a counter-claim, a reply thereto is called a defence to counter-claim and shall be subject to the rules applicable to defences.


 Rules in ORDER 19 – ADMISSIONS
RULE 1 – NOTICE OF ADMISSION OF FACTS

Any party to a proceedings may give notice by his pleadings or otherwise in writing, that he admits the truth of the whole facts or any part of the case of the other party.

RULE 2 – NOTICE TO ADMIT DOCUMENT

(1) Either party may, not later than 7 days before trial by notice in writing filed and served, require any other party to admit any document and the party so served shall not later than 4 days after service give notice of admission or non-admission of the document, failing which he shall be deemed to have admitted it unless a Judge otherwise orders. (2) When a party decides to challenge the authenticity of any document, he shall before trial give notice that he does not admit the document and requires it to be provided at the trial. (3) Where a party gives notice of non-admission and the document is proved at the trial, the cost of proving the document, which shall not be less than a sum of five thousand naira, (N5,000.00) shall be paid by the party who has challenged it, unless at the trial or hearing, the Judge shall certify that there were reasonable grounds for not admitting the authenticity of the document

RULE 3 – NOTICE TO ADMIT FACTS

(1) Either party may not later than 7 days before trial, by notice in writing filed and served, require any other party to admit any specific fact or facts mentioned in the notice, and the party so served shall not later than 4 days after service give notice of admission or non-admission of the fact or facts failing which he shall be deemed to have admitted it unless a Judge otherwise orders. (2) Where there is a refusal or neglect to admit the same within 4 days after service of such notice or within such further time as may be allowed by the Judge, the cost of proving such fact or facts which shall not be less than a sum of five thousand naira (N5,000), shall be paid by the party so refusing or neglecting whatever the result of the proceedings, unless the Judge certifies that the refusal to admit was reasonable or unless the Judge at any time otherwise orders or directs.

RULE 4 – JUDGMENT OR ORDER UPON ADMISSION OF FACTS

The Judge may, on application, at trial or at any other stage of the proceedings where admissions of facts have been made, either on the pleadings or otherwise, make such orders or give such judgment as upon such admissions a party may be entitled to, without waiting for the determination of any other question between the parties.

RULE 5 – COST OF NOTICE WHERE DOCUMENTS ARE UNNECESSARY

Where a notice to admit or produce comprises documents that are not necessary, the costs occasioned thereby which shall not be less than five thousand naira (N5,000) shall be borne by the party giving such notice.


 Rules in ORDER 20 – DEFAULT OF PLEADINGS
RULE 1 – CLAIM FOR DEBT OR LIQUIDATED DEMAND

If the claim is only for a debt or liquidated demand and the defendant does not, within the time allowed for the purpose, file a defence, the claimant may, at the expiration of such time, apply for final judgment for the amount claimed with costs.

RULE 2 – SEVERAL DEFENDANTS: DEFAULT OF ONE

When in any such action as in rule 1 of this Order, there are several defendants, if one of them makes default as mentioned in rule 1 of this Order, the claimant may apply for final judgment against the defendant making default and issue execution upon such judgment without prejudice to his right to proceed with his action against the other defendants.

RULE 3 – DAMAGES AND DETENTION OF GOODS

If the claimant’s claim be for pecuniary damages or for detention of goods with or without a claim for pecuniary damages only and the defendant or all the defendants, if more than one, make default as mentioned in rule 1 of this Order, the claimant may apply to a Judge for interlocutory judgment against the defendant or defendants and the value of the goods and the damages, or the damages only as the case may be, shall be ascertained in any way which, the Judge may order.

RULE 4 – DEFAULT OF ONE OR MORE DEFENDANTS

When in any such action as in rule 3 of this Order, there are several defendants, if one or more of them make default as mentioned in rule 1 of this Order, the claimant may apply to a Judge for interlocutory judgment against the defendant or defendants so making default and proceed with his action against the others. In such case, the value and amount of damages against the defendant making default shall be assessed at the trial of the action or issues therein against the other defendants, unless the Judge shall otherwise order.

RULE 5 – DEBT OR DAMAGES AND DETENTION OF GOODS

Where the claim is for debt or liquidated demand and also for pecuniary damages or for detention of goods with or without a claim for pecuniary damages and includes a liquidated demand and any defendant makes default as mentioned in rule 1, the claimant may apply to a Judge for final judgment for the debt or liquidated demand, and may also apply for interlocutory judgment for the value of the goods and damages, or the damages only as the case may be and proceed as mentioned in rules 3 and 4.

RULE 6 – RECOVERY OF LAND

In an action for the recovery of land, if the defendant makes default as mentioned in rule 1, the claimant may apply for a judgment that the person whose title is asserted in the writ of summons shall recover possession of the land with costs.

RULE 7 – CLAIM FOR MESNE-PROFITS, ARREARS OR DAMAGES

Where the claimant has endorsed a claim for mesne profits or arrears of rent in respect of the premises claimed, or any part of profits, or damages for breach of contract or wrong or injury to the premises claimed upon a writ for the recovery of land, if the defendant makes default as mentioned in rule 1, or if there be more than one defendant, some or one of the defendants make such default, the claimant may apply for final judgment against the defaulting defendant or defendants and proceed as mentioned in rules 3 and 4.

RULE 8 – SETTING ASIDE JUDGMENT

The Court may, on such terms as it thinks just, set aside or vary any judgment entered in pursuance to this Order: Provided that the unanswered part consists of a separate cause of action or is severable from the rest, as in the case of part of a debt or liquidated demand. That where there is a counter-claim, execution on any such judgment as above mentioned in respect of the claimant’s claim shall not issue without leave of the Judge.

RULE 9 – DEFENDANT IN DEFAULT

In all actions other than those in the preceding rules of this Order, if the defendant makes default in filing a defence, the claimant may apply to a Judge for judgment and such judgment shall be given upon the statement of claim as the Judge shall consider the claimant to be entitled to.

RULE 10 – ONE OF SEVERAL DEFENDANTS IN DEFAULT

Where in any such action as mentioned in rule 9 of this Order, there are several defendants, if one of such defendants makes such default as aforesaid, the claimants may apply for judgment against the defendant so making default, and proceed against the other defendants.

RULE 11 – DEFAULT OF THIRD PARTY

In any case in which issues arise in a proceedings other than that between claimant and defendant, if any party to any such issue makes default in filing any pleadings, the opposite party may apply to a Judge for such judgment, if any, as upon the pleadings he may appear to be entitled to, and the Judge may order judgment to be entered accordingly or may make such other order as may be necessary to do justice between the parties.

RULE 12 – DEFAULT OF DEFENCE TO COUNTER-CLAIM

A defendant who counter-claims against a claimant shall be treated for the purposes of rules 2 to 10, as if he were a claimant who had made a claim against a defendant and accordingly, where the claimant or any other person against whom the counter-claim is made, fails to serve a defence to the counter-claim; rules 2 to 10 shall apply as if: (a) the counter-claim were a statement of claim; (b) the defence to the counter-claim a defence; (c) the parties making the counter-claim and against whom it is made were claimants and defendants respectively; and (d) references to the period fixed under these rules for service of the defence were references to the period so fixed for service of the defence to the counterclaim.

RULE 13 – SETTING ASIDE JUDGMENT BY DEFAULT

Any judgment by default whether under this Order or under any Order of these rules shall be final and remain valid and may only be set aside upon application to the Judge on grounds of fraud, non service or lack of jurisdiction upon such terms as the Court may deem fit.


 Rules in ORDER 21 – PAYMENT INTO AND OUT OF COURT
RULE 1 – PAYMENT INTO AND OUT OF COURT

(1) Where after service in any proceedings for debt or damages, a defendant evinces an intention to pay money into Court in respect of the proceedings, he shall notify the Chief Registrar, who will thereupon direct him to pay the money into an interest yielding account opened by the Chief Registrar in a commercial bank and he shall file the teller for such payment with the Chief Registrar. (2) Where a teller for payment is filed with the Chief Registrar, he shall forthwith give notice of the payment to the claimant who may apply to a Judge for an order to withdraw the amount so paid. (3) Where a defence of tender before action is set up, the sum of money alleged to have been tendered shall be brought into Court. (4) The defendant may without leave give a written notice to the Registrar of an intention to increase the amount of any sum paid into Court. (5) Where the money is paid into court in satisfaction of one or more of several causes of action, the notice shall specify the cause or causes of action in respect of which payment is made and the sum paid in respect of such cause of action unless a Judge otherwise directs. (6) Civil Form 14 The notice shall be in Form 14 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require. The receipt of the notice shall be acknowledged in writing by the claimant within 3 days. The notice may be modified or withdrawn or delivered in an amended form by leave of a Judge upon such terms as may be just. (7) Where money is paid into Court with denial of liability, the claimant may proceed with the action in respect of the claim and if he succeeds, the amount paid shall be applied so far as is necessary in satisfaction of the claim and the balance, if any, shall on the order of a Judge be repaid to the defendant. Where the defendant succeeds in respect of such claim, the whole amount paid into Court shall be repaid to him on the order of a Judge.

RULE 2 – CLAIMANT MAY TAKE OUT MONEY: (CIVIL FORM 15)

(1) Where money is paid into Court under rule 1, the claimant may within 14 days of the receipt of the notice of payment into Court, or where more than one payment into Court has been made, within 14 days of the receipt of the notice of the last payment into Court, accept the whole sum or anyone or more of the specific sum in satisfaction of the cause or causes of action to which the specified sum or sums relate, by giving notice to the defendant in Form 15 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require and thereupon shall be entitled to receive payment of the accepted sum or sums in satisfaction as aforesaid. (2) Payment shall be made to the claimant or on his written authority, to his legal practitioner and thereupon proceedings in the action or in respect of the specified cause or causes of action (as the case may be) shall abate. (3) If the claimant accepts money paid into Court in satisfaction of his claim, or if he accepts a sum or sums paid in respect of one or more specified causes of action and gives notice that he abandons the other causes of action, he may after 4 days of payment out and unless a Judge otherwise orders, tax his costs incurred to the time of payment into Court, and 48 hours after taxation may sign judgment for his taxed costs. (4) Where in an action for libel or slander, the claimant accepts money paid into Court, either party may apply by summons to a Judge for leave for the parties or either of them to make a statement in open Court in terms approved by the Judge.

RULE 3 – MONEY REMAINING IN COURT 79

If the whole of the money in Court is not taken out under rule 2, the money remaining in Court shall not be paid out except in satisfaction of the claim or specified cause or causes of action in respect of which it was paid in pursuance of an order of a Judge which may be made at any time before, at or after trial.

RULE 4 – SEVERAL DEFENDANTS

(1) Several defendants Money may be paid into Court under rule 1 of this Order by one or more of several defendants sued jointly, or in the alternative, upon notice to the other defendant or defendants. (2) Form 16 If the claimant elects within 14 days after receipt of notice of payment into Court to accept the sum or sums paid into Court, he shall give notice as in Form 16 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require to each defendant and thereupon all further proceedings in the action or in respect of the specified cause or causes of action (as the case may be) shall abate. (3) The money shall not be paid out except in pursuance of an order of a Judge dealing with the whole cause or causes of action. (4) Civil Form 15 In an action for libel or slander against several defendants sued jointly, if any defendant pays money into Court, the claimant may within 14 days elect to accept the sum paid into Court in satisfaction of his claim against the defendant making the payment and shall give notice to all the defendants as in Form 15 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require. The claimant may tax his costs against the defendant who has made such payment in accordance with Rule 2(3) of this Order and the action shall abate against the defendant. (5) The claimant may continue with the action against any other defendant but the sum paid into Court shall be set-off against any damages awarded to the claimant against the defendant or defendants against whom the action is continued.

RULE 5 – COUNTER-CLAIMS

A person made a defendant to a counter-claim may pay money into Court in accordance with the foregoing rules, with necessary modification.

RULE 6 – PERSONS UNDER LEGAL DISABILITY

(1) In any proceedings in which money or damages is or are claimed by or on behalf of a person under legal disability suing either alone or in conjunction with other parties, no settlement or compromise or payment or acceptance of money paid into Court, whether before, at or after the trial, shall as regards the claims of any such person, be valid without the approval of a Judge. (2) No money (which expression for the purposes of this rule includes damages) in any way recovered or adjudged or ordered or awarded or agreed to be paid in any such proceedings in respect of the claims of any such person under legal disability whether by judgment, settlement, compromise, payment into Court or otherwise, before, at or after the trial, shall be paid to the claimant or to the guardian of the claimant or to the claimant’s legal practitioner unless a Judge shall so direct. . (3) All monies so recovered or adjudged or ordered or awarded or agreed to be paid shall be dealt with as the Judge shall direct. The directions thus given may include any general or special directions that the Judge may deem fit to give, including directions on how the money is to be applied or dealt with and as to any payment to be made either directly or out of money paid into Court to the claimants or to the guardian in respect of monies paid or expenses incurred or for maintenance or otherwise for or on behalf of or for the benefit of the person under legal disability or otherwise or to the claimant’s legal practitioner in respect of costs or of the difference between party and party and legal practitioner and client costs.

RULE 7 – PAYMENT INTO AND WITHDRAWAL OF MONEY FROM COURT

Every application or notice for payment into or transfer out of Court shall be made on notice to the other side.


 Rules in ORDER 22 – PROCEEDINGS IN LIEU OF DEMURRER
RULE 1 – DEMURRER ABOLISHED

No demurrer shall be allowed.

RULE 2 – POINTS OF LAW MAY BE RAISED BY PLEADINGS

Any party shall be entitled to raise by his pleadings any point of law and any points so raised shall be disposed of by the Judge who tries the cause at or after the trial: Provided that by consent of the parties, or by order of the Court or a Judge on the application of either party, it may be set down for hearing and disposed of at any time before the trial.

RULE 3 – DISMISSAL OF ACTION

If, in the opinion of the Court or a Judge; the decision of the point of law substantially disposes of the whole action, or of any distinct cause of action, ground of defence, set-off, counter-claim, or reply therein, the Court or Judge may thereupon dismiss the action or make such other order therein as may be just.

RULE 4 – STRIKING OUT PLEADINGS WHERE NO REASONABLE CAUSE OF ACTION IS DISCLOSED

The Court or a Judge may order any pleadings to be struck out on the ground that it discloses no reasonable cause of action or answer, and in any such case or in case of the action or defence being shown by the pleadings to be frivolous or vexatious, the Court or Judge may order the action to be stayed or dismissed, or judgment to be entered accordingly, as may be just.

RULE 5 – DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

No action or proceedings shall be open to objection on the ground that a merely declaratory judgment or order is sought thereby, and the Court may make binding declarations of right whether any consequential relief is or could be claimed or not.


 Rules in ORDER 23 – NOTICE OF DISCONTINUANCE
RULE 1 – CLAIMANT MAY DISCONTINUE BEFORE DEFENCE

(1) The claimant may at any time before receipt of the defence or after the receipt thereof, before taking any other proceedings in the action, by notice in writing duly filed and served, wholly discontinue his claim against all or any of the defendants or withdraw any part or parts of his claim. He shall thereupon pay such defendant’s costs of the action, or if the action be not wholly discontinued, the costs occasioned by the matter so withdrawn. (2) A discontinuance or withdrawal as the case may be, shall not be a defence to any subsequent claim. (3) Where a defence has been filed, the claimant may with the leave of a Judge discontinue the proceedings or any part thereof on such terms and conditions as the Judge may order. (4) Where proceedings have been stayed or struck out upon a claimant’s withdrawal or discontinuance under this Order, no subsequent claim shall be heard on the same or substantially the same facts until the terms imposed on him by the Judge have been fully complied with. (5) The Judge may in like manner and like discretion as to terms, upon the application of a defendant order the whole or any part of his alleged grounds of defence or counter-claim to be withdrawn or struck out.

RULE 2 – WITHDRAWAL BY CONSENT

When a cause is ready for trial, it may be withdrawn by either claimant or defendant upon producing to the Registrar, consent in writing signed by the parties and thereupon a Judge shall strike out the matter without the necessity of attendance of the parties or their legal practitioner.


 Rules in ORDER 24 – AMENDMENT
RULE 1 – AMENDMENT OF ORIGINATING PROCESS AND PLEADINGS

A party may amend his originating process and pleadings at any time before the settlement of issue and not more than twice during the trial but before the close of the case, provided the Court may grant more than two amendments in exceptional circumstances.

RULE 2 – APPLICATION

Application to amend may be made to a Judge, such application shall be supported by an exhibit of the proposed amendment and may be allowed upon such terms as to costs or otherwise as may be just.

RULE 3 – AMENDMENT OF ORIGINATING PROCESS

Where any originating process and or pleadings is to be amended, a list of any additional witness to be called together with his written statement on oath and a copy of any document to be relied upon consequent on such amendment, shall be filed with the application.

RULE 4 – FAILURE TO AMEND AFTER ORDER

If a party who has obtained an order to amend does not amend accordingly within the time limited for that purpose by the order, or if no time is thereby limited, then within 7 days from the date of the order, such party shall pay an additional fee of N100.00 (one hundred naira) only for each day of default, without the need for another application for extension of time provided he files within fourteen days thereafter.

RULE 5 – FILING AND SERVICE OF AMENDED PROCESS

Whenever any originating process or pleadings is amended, a copy of the document as amended shall be filed in the Registry and additional copies served on all the parties to the action.

RULE 6 – DATE OF ORDER AND AMENDMENT TO BE DISPLAYED

Whenever any endorsement or pleadings is amended, it shall be marked in the following manner: “Amended_______ day of____________________pursuant to Order of (name of Judge) dated__________ the day of ______________________”

RULE 7 – CLERICAL MISTAKES AND ACCIDENTAL OMISSIONS

A Judge may at anytime correct clerical mistakes in judgments or orders, or errors arising therein from any accidental slip or omission upon application, without an appeal being filed.

RULE 8 – GENERAL POWER TO AMEND

Subject to the provisions of rule 1 of this Order, a Judge may at any time and on such terms as to costs or otherwise as may be just, amend any defect or error in any proceedings.


 Rules in ORDER 25 – TRIAL CONFERENCES AND SCHEDULING
RULE 1 – PERIOD FOR SETTLEMENT

(1) When a matter comes before the Court for the first time, the Judge shall in circumstances where it is appropriate, grant to the parties, time, not more than thirty days within which parties may explore possibilities for settlement of the dispute. (2) Where parties fail to settle within thirty days or such other period as the court may grant, the case shall without more, proceed to trial.

RULE 2 – FORMULATION OF ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION

(1) Where a matter is to proceed to trial, the parties shall file respectively, issues for determination at the trial. The issues may state questions of law or admitted facts or questions of disputed facts or questions partly of law, of the one part and partly of facts, of the other. (2) Where the parties have filed their respective issues for determination and the parties have not agreed on the issues for determination, or the Judge is of the opinion that the issues formulated by the parties do not adequately address the controversy between the parties, the Judge may, inspite of the issues formulated by the parties, formulate appropriate issues for determination and such shall be the issues for determination at the trial of a matter.

RULE 3 – PARTY MAY APPLY FOR ISSUE TO BE TRIED

Party may apply for issue to be tried Notwithstanding the provisions of rule 2 of this Order, where a party believes that the issues for determination shall be determined by a hearing in open court, such party may do so by application on notice stating the question(s) or issue(s) sought to be tried.

RULE 4 – FORMULATION OF ISSUES BY COURT

Where the Court intends to formulate issues for determination, it shall be done in open court and on notice to the parties to attend the hearing for the formulation of issues for determination.

RULE 5 – ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The Court may promote amicable settlement of the case or adoption of alternative dispute resolution.


 Rules in ORDER 26 – DISCOVERY AND INSPECTION
RULE 1 – DISCOVERY BY INTERROGATORIES

In any cause or matter, the claimant or defendant may deliver interrogatories in writing for the examination of the opposite parties or anyone or more of such parties and such interrogatories when delivered, shall have a note at the end of it stating which of the interrogatories each person is required to answer. Interrogatories shall be delivered within 7 days of close of pleadings and shall form part of the proceedings of settlement of issues.

RULE 2 – CIVIL FORM 17

Interrogatories shall be in Form 17 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.

RULE 3 – CORPORATION OR COMPANIES

If any party to a cause or matter is a limited or unlimited company, body corporate, firm, enterprise, friendly society, association or any other body or group of persons whether incorporated or not, empowered by law to sue or be sued, whether in its own name or in the name of any officer or other person, any opposite party may deliver interrogatories to any member or officer of such party.

RULE 4 – OBJECTION TO INTERROGATORIES BY ANSWER

Any objection to answering anyone or more of several interrogatories on the ground that it is or they are scandalous or irrelevant may be taken by way of motion.

RULE 5 – AFFIDAVIT IN ANSWER: FILING OF

Interrogatories shall be answered by affidavit to be filed within 7 days, or within such other time as the Judge may allow. Two copies of the affidavit in answer shall be supplied to the Registrar and a copy thereof served on the party that delivered the interrogatories.

RULE 6 – FORM OF AFFIDAVIT IN ANSWER OR ANSWER: CIVIL FORM 18

An affidavit in answer to interrogatories shall be in Form 18 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.

RULE 7 – ORDER TO ANSWER OR ANSWER FURTHER

If any person interrogated omits to answer or answers insufficiently, the Judge shall on application issue an order requiring him to answer or to answer further as the case may be.

RULE 8 – APPLICATION FOR DISCOVERY OF DOCUMENTS: CIVIL FORM 19

(1) Any party may in writing, request any other party to any cause or matter to make discovery on oath of the documents that are or have been in his possession, custody, power or control, relating to any matter in question in the case. Request for discovery shall be served within 7 days of close of pleadings or within such period as the Court or Judge may direct and shall form part of the proceedings. The party on whom such a request is served shall answer on oath completely and truthfully within 7 days of the request or within such other time as the Judge may allow. (2) Every affidavit in answer to a request for discovery of documents shall be accompanied by copies of documents referred to therein. (3) Civil Form 19 The affidavit to be made by any person in answer to a request for discovery of documents shall specify which, if any, of the listed documents he objects to producing, stating the grounds of his objection, and it shall be in Form 19 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require. (4) On the hearing of the application, the Court or Judge in chambers may either refuse or adjourn the hearing, if satisfied that the discovery is not necessary or make such order, either generally or limited to certain classes of documents, as may, in its or his discretion, be thought fit. (5) Discovery shall not be ordered when and so far as the Court or Judge in chambers is of the opinion that it is not necessary either for disposing fairly of the action or for saving costs.

RULE 9 – VERIFICATION OF BUSINESS BOOKS

(1) Where any document required to be attached to any process or produced under this or any other rule is a business book, a Judge may upon application, order a copy of any entry therein to be furnished and verified in any affidavit. Such affidavit shall be made by a person who keeps the book or under whose supervision the book is kept. (2) Notwithstanding that a copy has been supplied, a Judge may order inspection of the book from which the copy was made. (3) The Judge may upon application whether or not an affidavit of document has been ordered or filed, make an order requiring any party to state by affidavit whether any particular document or any class of documents is or has at any time been in his possession, custody, power or control, when he parted with the same and what has become of it.

RULE 10 – COMMITTAL OF PARTY AFTER SERVICE ON HIM

An order for interrogatories or discovery or inspection made against any party if served on the party, shall be sufficient to found an application for committal of a party for disobedience to the order.

RULE 11 – LIABILITY OF LEGAL PRACTITIONER

If the interrogatories or discovery or inspection is served on the legal practitioner for the party but neglects without reasonable excuse to give notice to his client, he shall be liable to pay the cost occasioned thereby.

RULE 12 – USING ANSWER TO INTERROGATORIES AT TRIAL

Any party may, at the trial of a cause, matter or issues, use in evidence anyone or more of the answers or any part of an answer of the opposite party to interrogatories without putting in the others or the whole of such answer: Provided that the Judge may look at the whole of the answers and order that any of them may be put in.

RULE 13 – DISCOVERY AGAINST SHERIFF

In any action against or by a sheriff in respect of any matter connected with the execution of his office, a Judge may, on application of either party, order that the affidavit to be made in answer either to interrogatories or to any order for discovery be made by the officer concerned.

RULE 14 – ORDER TO APPLY TO PERSON UNDER LEGAL DISABILITY

This Order shall also apply to persons under legal disability and their guardians.


 Rules in ORDER 27 – ISSUES, INQUIRIES, ACCOUNTS AND REFERENCE TO REFEREES.
RULE 1 – ISSUES OF FACTS

(1) In all proceedings, issues of facts in dispute shall be defined by each party and filed within 7 days after close of pleadings. (2) If the parties differ on the issues, the trial Judge may settle the issues.

RULE 2 – REFERENCE TO REFEREE

In any legal proceedings, the Judge may at any time, order the whole cause or matter or any question or issue of facts arising therein, to be tried before an official referee or officer of the Court, notwithstanding that it may appear that there is a special or other relief sought or some special issue to be tried, as to which it may be proper that the cause or matter should proceed in the ordinary manner.

RULE 3 – INSTRUCTIONS TO REFEREE

In any case in which a matter is referred to a referee, the Court shall furnish the referee with such part of the proceedings and such information and detailed instructions as may appear necessary for his guidance, and shall direct the parties if necessary to attend upon the referee during the inquiry.

RULE 4 – GENERAL POWERS OF REFEREE

The referee may, subject to the order of the Judge, hold the inquiry at or adjourn it to any place which he may deem most expedient, and have any inspection or view which he may deem most expedient, for the disposal of the controversy before him. He shall, so far as practicable, proceed with the inquiry from day to day.

RULE 5 – EVIDENCE

(1) Subject to any order made by the Judge ordering the inquiry, evidence shall be taken at any inquiry before a referee, and the attendance of witnesses to give evidence before a referee may be enforced by the Judge in the same manner as such attendance may be enforced before the Court; and every such inquiry shall be conducted in the same manner or as nearly as circumstances will admit as trials before a Court. (2) The referee shall have the same authority in the conduct of any inquiry as a Judge when presiding at any trial. (3) Nothing in these rules shall authorise any referee to commit any person to prison or to enforce any order by attachment or otherwise; but the Judge may, in respect of matters before a referee, make such order of attachment or commitment as he may consider necessary.

RULE 6 – REPORT MADE IN PURSUANCE OF REFERENCE UNDER ORDER

(1) The report made by a referee in pursuance of a reference under this Order shall be made to the Judge and notice thereof served on the parties to the reference. (2) A referee may by his report submit any question arising therein for the decision of the Judge or make a special statement of facts from which the Judge may draw such inferences as he deems fit. (3) On the receipt of a referee’s report, the Judge may: (a) adopt the report in whole or in part; (b) vary the report; (c) require an explanation from him; (d) remit the whole or any part of the question or issue originally referred to him for further consideration by him or any other referee; (e) decide the question or issue originally referred to him on the evidence taken before him, either with or without additional evidence. (4) When the report of the referee has been made, an application to vary the report or remit the whole or any part of the question or issue originally referred, may be made on the hearing by the Judge for the further consideration of the cause or matter, after giving not less than 4 days notice thereof and any other application with respect to the report may be made on that hearing without notice. (5) Where on a reference under this Order, a Judge orders that the further consideration of the cause or matter in question shall not stand adjourned until the receipt of the referee’s report, the order may contain directions with respect to the proceedings on the receipt of the report and the foregoing provisions of this rule shall have effect subject to any such directions.

RULE 7 – SPECIAL DIRECTIONS AS TO MODE OF TAKING ACCOUNT

The Judge may order or direct an account to be taken or by any subsequent order, give special directions with regard to the mode in which the account is to be taken or vouched and in particular may direct that in taking the account, the books of accounts in which the accounts in question have been kept shall be taken as prima-facie evidence of the truth of their contents, with liberty to the interested parties to object.

RULE 8 – ACCOUNTS TO BE VERIFIED BY AFFIDAVIT, NUMBERED AND LEFT IN THE REGISTRY

Where any account is directed to be taken, the accounting party shall make out his account and verify the same by affidavit. The items on each side of the account shall be numbered consecutively, and the account shall be referred to by the affidavit as an exhibit and left in the Registry.

RULE 9 – MODE OF VOUCHING ACCOUNTS

Upon the taking of any account, the Judge may direct that the voucher be produced at the chambers of the accounting party’s legal practitioner or at any other convenient place and that only such items as may be contested or surcharged shall be brought before the Judge.

RULE 10 – SURCHARGE

Any party seeking to charge any accounting party beyond what he has by his account admitted to have received, shall give notice to the accounting party, stating so far as he is able, the amount sought to be charged with particulars.

RULE 11 – ACCOUNTS AND INQUIRIES TO BE NUMBERED: CIVIL FORM 20

Where by any judgment or order, any accounts are directed to be taken or inquiries to be made, each such direction shall be numbered so that as far as may be, each distinct account and inquiry may be designated by a number and such judgment or order shall be in Form 20 with such modifications or variations as the circumstances of the case may require.

RULE 12 – JUST ALLOWANCE

In taking any account directed by any judgment or order, all just allowances shall be made without any direction for that purpose.

RULE 13 – EXPEDITING PROCEEDINGS IN CASE OF UNDUE DELAY

If it shall appear to the Judge that there is any undue delay in the prosecution of any proceedings, the Judge may require the party having the conduct of the proceedings or any other party, to explain the delay and may thereupon make such order with regard to expediting the proceedings or the conduct thereof, or the stay thereof and as to the costs of the proceedings as the circumstances of the case may require, and for the purposes aforesaid any party may be directed to summon the persons whose attendance is required and to conduct any proceedings and carry out any directions which may be given.


 Rules in ORDER 28 – SPECIAL CASE
RULE 1 – SPECIAL CASE BY CONSENT

At the trial, parties may concur in stating the questions of law, arising in their case in the form of a special case for the opinion of the Judge. Every such special case shall be divided into paragraphs numbered consecutively and shall concisely state such facts and documents as may be necessary to enable the Court to decide the questions. Upon the argument of such case, the Judge and the parties may refer to all the contents of such documents and tile Judge may draw from the facts and documents stated in any such special case any inference, whether of fact or law, which might have been drawn from them if proved at a trial.

RULE 2 – SPECIAL CASE BY ORDER BEFORE TRIAL

If at the trial it appears to the Judge that there is in any cause or matter a question of law, which could be conveniently decided before any evidence is given or any question or issue of fact is tried, the Judge may make an order accordingly, and may raise such questions of law or direct them to be raised at the trial either by special case or in such other manner as the Judge may deem expedient, and all such further proceedings as the decision of such question of law may, render unnecessary, may thereupon be stayed.

RULE 3 – SPECIAL CASE TO BE SIGNED

Every special case agreed pursuant to rule 1 shall be signed by the several parties or their legal practitioners and shall be filed by the claimant or other party having conduct of the proceedings.

RULE 4 – APPLICATION TO SET DOWN WHERE A PERSON UNDER DISABILITY IS A PARTY

An application to set down a special case in any cause or matter to which a person under legal disability is a party shall be supported by sufficient evidence that the statements contained in such case, so far as the same affects the interest of such persons under legal disability are true.

RULE 5 – AGREEMENT TO PAYMENT OF MONEY AND COST

(1) The parties to a special case may, if they think fit, enter into an agreement in writing, which shall not be subject to any stamp duty, that on the judgment of the Court being given in the affirmative or negative on the questions of law raised by the special case, a sum of money fixed by the parties or to be ascertained by the Court or in such manner as the Court may direct, shall be paid by one of the parties to the other, either with or without costs as the case may be. (2) The judgment of the Court may be entered for the sum so agreed or ascertained with or without costs, as the case may be, and execution may issue upon such judgment forthwith, unless otherwise agreed or unless stayed on appeal.

RULE 6 – DIRECTION

A Judge may give direction as he may deem fit on any issue arising from the trial or special case upon the application of the parties or suo motu.

RULE 7 – APPLICATION OF ORDER

This Order shall apply to every special case stated in a cause or matter and in any proceedings incidental thereto.


 Rules in ORDER 29 – PROCEEDINGS AT TRIAL
RULE 1 – ATTENDANCE BY PROXY

(1) In every cause or matter pending before the Court, in case it appears to the satisfaction of the Court that any party who may not be represented by a legal practitioner is prevented by some good or sufficient cause from attending the Court in person, the Court may in its discretion permit any master, servant, clerk or member of the family of such claimant or defendant, or officer of the claimant or defendant company, who shall satisfy the Court that he has authority in that behalf, to appear in Court for such party.

RULE 2 – NON-APPEARANCE: BOTH PARTIES

When a cause on the Weekly Cause List has been called for hearing and neither party appears, the Judge shall, unless he sees good reason to the contrary, strike the cause out.

RULE 3 – DEFAULT OF APPEARANCE BY DEFENDANT AT TRIAL

When a cause is called for hearing if the claimant appears and the defendant does not appear, the claimant may prove his claim, so far as the burden of proof lies upon him.

RULE 4 – DEFAULT-OF APPEARANCE BY CLAIMANT

When a cause is called for hearing, if the defendant appears and the plaintiff does not appear, the defendant, if he has no counterclaim, shall be entitled to judgment dismissing the action, but if he has a counter-claim, then he may prove such counter-claim, so far as the burden of proof lies upon him. Provided that if the defendant shall admit the cause of action to the full amount claimed, the Court may if it thinks fit, give judgment as if the claimant had appeared.

RULE 5 – JUDGMENT BY DEFAULT MAY BE SET ASIDE ON TERMS

(1) Where a cause is struck out under rule 2 of this Order, either party may apply that the cause be replaced on the cause list on such terms as the Judge may deem fit. (2) Any judgment obtained where any party does not appear at the trial may be set aside by the Judge upon such terms as he may deem fit for good cause shown. (3) An application to re-list a cause struck out or to set aside a judgment shall be made within 6 days after the order or judgment or such other longer period as the Judge may allow for good cause shown.

RULE 6 – ADJOURNMENT OF TRIAL

(1) The Judge may, if he thinks it expedient for the interests of justice, postpone or adjourn a trial for such time and upon such terms, if any, as he may think fit, provided that such adjournments shall be subject to the following guidelines or such longer period as the circumstances may dictate: (a) an adjournment shall not be granted more than five (5) times at the instance of a party to the action from the date of filing to the conclusion of the case. (b) an adjournment shall not exceed 30 days at one instance. (2) Or such longer period as the circumstances may dictate.

RULE 7 – TIMES OF COMMENCEMENT AND TERMINATION OF TRIAL

The Registrar or other proper officer present at any trial or hearing, shall make a note of the times at which the trial or hearing commences and terminates respectively and the time actually occupied on each day it goes on for communication to the taxing officer if required.

RULE 8 – BURDEN OF PROOF BY PARTY TO BEGIN

The party on whom the burden of proof lies by the nature of the issues or questions between the parties shall begin.

RULE 9 – DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Documentary evidence shall be put in and may be read or taken as read.

RULE 10 – ADDITIONAL WITNESS

(1) A party who desires to call any witness not being witness whose deposition on oath accompanied his pleadings shall apply to the Judge for leave to call such witness. (2) An application for leave in sub-rule 1 above shall be accompanied by the deposition on oath of such witness.

RULE 11 – CLOSE OF CASE OF PARTIES

(1) A party shall close his case when he has concluded his evidence, Either the claimant or defendant may make oral application to have the case closed. (2) Notwithstanding the provisions, of sub-rule 1 above, the Judge may suo motu where he considers that either party fails to conclude his case within a reasonable time, close the case for the party.

RULE 12 – EXHIBITS DURING TRIAL

(1) The Registrar shall take charge of every document or object put in as an exhibit. during the trial of an action, and shall mark or label every exhibit with a letter or letters indicating the party by whom the exhibit is put in (or where more convenient, the witness by whom the exhibit is proved) and with a number, so that all the exhibits put in by a party (or proved by a witness) are numbered in one consecutive series. (2) The Registrar shall cause a list of all the exhibits in the action to be made. (3) The list of exhibits when completed shall form part of the record of the action. (4) For the purpose of this rule a bundle of documents may be treated and counted as one exhibit. (5) In this rule, a witness by whom an exhibit is proved includes a witness in the course of whose evidence the exhibit is put in.

RULE 13 – WRITTEN ADDRESS BY PARTY BEGINNING

When the party beginning has concluded his evidence, the Judge shall ask the other party if he intends to call evidence. If the other party does not intend to call evidence, the party beginning shall within 21 days after close of evidence file a written address. Upon being served with the written address, the other party shall within 21 days file his own written address.

RULE 14 – WRITTEN ADDRESS BY THE OTHER PARTY

Where the other party calls evidence, he shall within 21 days after the close of evidence file a written address.

RULE 15 – WRITTEN ADDRESS OF PARTY BEGINNING

Upon being served with other party’s written address, the party beginning shall within 21 days file his own written address.

RULE 16 – RIGHT OF REPLY

The party who files the first address shall have a right of reply on points of law only. The reply shall be filed within 7 days after service of the other party’s address.

RULE 17 – CUSTODY OF EXHIBIT AFTER TRIAL

(1) An exhibit shall not be released after the trial to the party who has tendered it unless the period during which notice of appeal may be given has elapsed without such notice having been given, and then only if the trial Judge (or in his absence, another Judge) grants leave to release such exhibit on being satisfied: (a) that the exhibit will be kept duly marked and labeled and will be produced if required, at the hearing of an appeal (if any such appeal is lodged); or (b) that the release of the exhibit will not in any way prejudice any other party. (2) After a notice of appeal has been filed, an exhibit produced at the trial shall not be released by the High Court unless leave to release such exhibit is granted by the Court of Appeal.

RULE 18 – OFFICE COPY OF LIST OF EXHIBITS

(1) Any party may apply for and on payment of the prescribed fee, obtain an office copy of the list and certified true copies of exhibits. (2) Where there is an appeal, an office copy of the list of exhibits shall be included amongst the documents supplied for the purpose of the appeal.

RULE 19 – INDOLENT PROSECUTION

A Judge may, suo motu or on application strike out any proceedings not being prosecuted diligently.


 Rules in ORDER 30 – FILING OF WRITTEN ADDRESS
RULE 1 – APPLICATION AND FINAL ADDRESS

This Order shall apply to all applications and final addresses

RULE 2 – APPLICATION

A written address shall be printed on good quality white opaque A4 paper size and set out in paragraphs numbered serially and shall contain: Content of written address (i) The claim or application on which the address is based; (ii) A brief statement of the facts with reference to the exhibit attached to the application or tendered at the trial; (iii) The issues arising from the evidence; and (iv) A succinct statement of argument on each issue incorporating the purport of the authorities referred to together with full citation of each authority.

RULE 3 – SUMMATION OF ADDRESS

All written addresses shall be concluded with a numbered summary of the points raised and the party’s prayer. A list of all authorities referred to shall be submitted with the address. Where any unreported judgment is relied upon, the certified true copy shall be submitted along with the written address.

RULE 4 – ORAL ARGUMENT

Oral argument of not more than twenty minutes may be allowed for each party.


 Rules in ORDER 31 – EVIDENCE GENERALLY
RULE 1 – RECORDING OF EVIDENCE

Subject to the provisions of the Evidence Act, evidence in any proceedings may be recorded in writing or by mechanical, electronic, or any other scientific means.

RULE 2 – FACTS HOW PROVED

(1) Subject to these Rules and to any enactment relating to evidence, any fact required to be proved at the trial of any action shall be proved by written deposition and oral examination of witnesses in open court. (2) All agreed documents or other exhibits may be tendered from the bar or by the party where he is not represented by a legal practitioner. (3) The oral examination of a witness during his evidence-in-chief shall be limited to confirming his written deposition and tendering in evidence all disputed documents or other exhibits referred to in the deposition. (4) Real evidence shall be tendered during the trial.

RULE 3 – PARTICULAR FACTS

(1) A Judge may, at or before the trial of an action, order or direct that evidence of any particular fact be given at the trial in such manner as may be specified by the order or direction. (2) The power conferred by sub-rule 1 of this rule extends in particular to ordering or directing that evidence of any particular fact be given at the trial: (a) by statement on oath of information or belief; (b) by the production of documents or entries in books; (c) by copies of documents or entries in books; or (d) in the case of a fact which is or was a matter of common knowledge either generally or in a particular district, by the production of a specified document which contains a statement of that fact.

RULE 4 – LIMITATION OF MEDICAL AND EXPERT EVIDENCE

A Judge may at or before the trial of an action, order or direct that the number of medical or expert witnesses who may be called at the trial be limited as specified by the order or direction.

RULE 5 – LIMITATION ON USE OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Unless, at or before trial, a Judge for special reasons otherwise orders or directs, no document, plan, photograph or model shall be receivable in evidence at the trial of an action which has not been filed along with the pleadings of the parties under these Rules.

RULE 6 – REVOCATION VARIATION

Any order or direction under this Order may, on sufficient cause being shown, be revoked and or varied by a subsequent order or direction of a Judge made or given at or before the trial.

RULE 7 – OFFICE COPIES ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE

Office or certified true copies of all writs, processes, records, pleadings, and documents filed in the High Court shall be admissible in evidence in all matters to the same extent as the original would be admissible.

RULE 8 – EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES ABROAD

Where an order is made for the issue of a request to examine a witness or witnesses in any foreign country with which a Convention in that behalf has been or shall be made the following procedures shall be adopted: (a) Civil Form 21 The party obtaining such order, shall file in the Registry an undertaking in Form 21, which form may be varied as may be necessary to meet the circumstances of the particular case in which it is used; (b) Such undertaking shall be accompanied by: (i) Civil Form 22 a request in Form 22, with such modifications or variations as may be directed in the order for its issue, together with a translation in the language of the country in which it is to be executed (if not English); (ii) a copy of the interrogatories (if any) to accompany the requests, with a translation if necessary; (iii) a copy of the cross-interrogatories (if any) with a translation if necessary.

RULE 9 – FORM OF ORDER FOR EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES ABROAD: CIVIL FORM 23

Where an order is made for the examination of a witness or witnesses before the Nigerian Diplomatic Agent in any foreign country with which a Convention in that behalf has been made, the order shall be in Form 23, the Form may be modified or varied as may be necessary to meet the circumstances of the particular case in which it is used.

RULE 10 – ORDER FOR ATTENDANCE OF PERSON TO PRODUCE DOCUMENT

The Judge may at any stage of any proceedings, order the attendance of any person for the purpose of producing any writings or other documents named in the order: Provided that no person shall be compelled to produce under any such order, any writing or other document which he could not be compelled to produce at the hearing or trial.

RULE 11 – DISOBEDIENCE TO ORDER FOR ATTENDANCE

Any person wilfully disobeying any order requiring his attendance for the purpose of being examined or producing any document, shall be in contempt of Court, and may be dealt with accordingly.

RULE 12 – EXPENSES OF PERSONS ORDERED TO ATTEND

Any person required to attend for the purpose of being examined or of producing any document, shall be entitled to payment for expenses and loss of time occasioned by his attendance.

RULE 13 – CONTEMPT OF WITNESSES ABROAD

If any person duly summoned by subpoena to attend for examination shall refuse to attend or if having attended, he shall refuse to be sworn or to answer any lawful question, he shall be in contempt of Court and may be dealt with accordingly by the Judge.

RULE 14 – EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES

When the examination of any witness before any examiner under rule 7 above shall have been conducted, the original depositions authenticated by the signature of the examiner, shall be transmitted by him to the registry and filed.

RULE 15 – DEPOSITIONS NOT TO BE GIVEN IN EVIDENCE WITHOUT CONSENT OR BY LEAVE OF A JUDGE

Except where by this Order otherwise provided or directed by a Judge, no deposition shall be given in evidence at the hearing or trial of the cause or matter without the consent of the party against whom the same may be offered, unless the Judge is satisfied that the deponent is dead or beyond the jurisdiction of the court or unable from sickness or other infirmity to attend the hearing or trial, in any of which case, the depositions certified under the hand of the person taking the examination shall be admissible in evidence, saving all just exceptions, without proof of the signature to such certificate.

RULE 16 – OATHS

Any officer of the Court or other person directed to take the examination of any witness or person, or any person nominated or appointed to take the examination of any witness or person pursuant to the provisions of any convention now made or which may hereafter be made with any foreign country, may administer oaths.

RULE 17 – ATTENDANCE OF WITNESS UNDER A SUBPOENA

A party may by subpoena ad testificandum or duces tecum require the attendance of any witness before an officer of the Court or other person appointed to take the examination, for the purpose of using his evidence upon any proceedings in the cause or matter in like manner as such witness would be bound to attend and be examined at the hearing or trial; and any party or witness having made an affidavit to be used in any proceedings in the cause or matter shall be bound on being so subpoenaed to attend before such officer or person for cross-examination.

RULE 18 – PRACTICE AS TO TAKING OF EVIDENCE AT ANY STAGE OF CAUSE OR MATTER

The practice with reference to the examination, cross-examination and re-examination of witnesses at a trial shall extend and be applicable to evidence taken in any cause or matter at any stage.

RULE 19 – SPECIAL DIRECTIONS TO TAKING EVIDENCE

The practice of the Court with respect to evidence at a trial, when applied to evidence to be taken before an officer of the Court or other person in any cause or matter after the hearing or trial, shall be subject to any special directions which may be given in any case.

RULE 20 – EVIDENCE IN PROCEEDINGS SUBSEQUENT TO TRIAL

Subject to the provisions of Section 34 of the Evidence Act, all evidence taken at the hearing or trial of any cause or matter may be used in any subsequent proceedings in the same cause or matter.

RULE 21 – FORM OF PRAECIPE OF A SUBPOENA: CIVIL FORM 24

Where it is intended to issue out a subpoena, a praecipe for that purpose in Form 24 containing the name or firm and the place of business or residence of the legal practitioner intending to issue out the same, and where such legal practitioner is an agent only, then also the name or firm and place of business or residence of the principal legal practitioner, shall in all cases be delivered and filed at the registry. No subpoena shall be issued unless all Court fees have been paid (including fee for service) and unless sufficient money on the prescribed scale is deposited to cover the first day’s attendance.

RULE 22 – FORM OF SUBPOENA: CIVIL FORMS 25, 26, 27

A subpoena shall be in one of Forms 25, 26, or 27 with such variations as circumstances may require.

RULE 23 – SUBPOENA ATTENDANCE OF WITNESS IN CHAMBERS

Where a subpoena is required for the attendance of a witness for the purpose of proceedings in chambers, such subpoena shall be issued from the Registry upon the Judge’s directive.

RULE 24 – CORRECTION OF ERRORS IN SUBPOENA

In the interval between the issue and service of any subpoena, the legal practitioner issuing it may make any correction and may have the writ resealed upon leaving a corrected copy of the subpoena marked with the words “altered and resealed”, with the signature, name and address of the legal practitioner.

RULE 25 – PERSONAL SERVICE OF SUBPOENA

A subpoena shall be served personally unless substituted service has been ordered by a Judge in a case where a person evades service. The provisions of Order 7 shall so far as possible apply to service and proof of service of a subpoena.

RULE 26 – DURATION OF SUBPOENA

Any subpoena shall remain in force from the date of issue until the trial of the action or matter in which it is issued.

RULE 27 – ACTION TO PERPETUATE TESTIMONY

Any person who would under the circumstances alleged by him to exist, become entitled, upon the happening of any future event to any honour, title, dignity or office, or to any estate or interest in any property, real or personal, the right claim to which cannot be brought to trial by him before the happening of such event, may commence an action to perpetuate any testimony which may be material for establishing such right or claim.

RULE 28 – EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES TO PERPETUATE TESTIMONY

A witness shall not be examined to perpetuate his testimony unless an action has been commenced for that purpose.

RULE 29 – SUCH ACTION NOT TO BE SET DOWN FOR TRIAL

No action to perpetuate the testimony of a witness shall be set down for trial.

RULE 30 – RECALL OF WITNESS

Upon application of either party to a suit, the Court may recall any witness where it deems fit in the interest of justice.


 Rules in ORDER 32 – AFFIDAVITS
RULE 1 – EVIDENCE ON MOTIONS, ETC.

Upon any motion, petition, summons or other application, evidence may be given by affidavit but the Judge may, suo motu or on application, order that attendance for cross-examination of the deponent and where, after such an order has been made the person in question does not attend, his affidavit shall not be used as evidence save by leave of the Court or Judge in chambers.

RULE 2 – TITLE OF AFFIDAVIT

Every affidavit shall bear the title in the cause or matter which it is sworn but in every case in which there is more than one claimant or defendant, it shall be sufficient to state the full name of the first claimant or defendant respectively and that there are other claimants or defendants, as the case may be.

RULE 3 – USE OF DEFECTIVE AFFIDAVIT

The Judge may receive any affidavit sworn for the purpose of being used in any cause or matter, notwithstanding any defect by misdescription of parties or otherwise in the title or jurat, or any other irregularity in the form thereof, and may direct a memorandum to be made on the document that it has been so received.

RULE 4 – SPECIAL TIME FOR FILING AFFIDAVITS

Where time is limited for filing affidavits, no affidavit filed after that time shall be used, unless by leave of Court or Judges in chambers.

RULE 5 – AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF EX-PARTE APPLICATION

Except by leave of the Court or Judge in chambers, no order made ex-parte in Court founded on any affidavit shall be of any force unless the affidavit on which the application was based was made before the order was applied for, and produced or filed at the time of making the application.

RULE 6 – NOTICE OF INTENTION TO USE AFFIDAVIT

Save for ex-parte application, a party intending to use any affidavit in support of any application made by him shall give notice to the other parties concerned.

RULE 7 – ALTERATIONS IN ACCOUNTS TO BE INITIATED

Every alteration in any account verified by affidavit shall be marked with the initials of the commissioner before whom the affidavit is sworn and such alterations shall not be made by erasure.

RULE 8 – EXHIBITS

Accounts, extracts from registers, particulars of creditors’ debt, and other documents referred to by affidavit, shall not be annexed to the affidavit or referred to as annexed, but shall be referred to as exhibits.

RULE 9 – CERTIFICATE OF EXHIBIT

Every certificate on an exhibit referred to in an affidavit signed by the Commissioner before whom the affidavit is sworn, shall be marked with the short title of the cause or matter.

RULE 10 – APPLICATION OF EVIDENCE ACT L.F.N. CAP. E14

The provisions of Evidence Act which set out provisions governing affidavits shall be applicable under these Rules.

RULE 11 – AFFIDAVIT TAKEN IN COMMONWEALTH COUNTRY ADMISSIBLE WITHOUT PROOF OF SEAL, ETC.

A document purporting to have affixed or impressed thereon or subscribed thereto the seal or signature of a Court, Judge, Notary Public or person having authority to administer oath in any part of the commonwealth outside Nigeria in testimony of an affidavit being taken before it or him in that part shall be admitted in evidence without proof of the seal or signature of that Court, Judge, Notary Public or person.


 Rules in ORDER 33 – JUDGMEN: ENTRY OF JUDGMENT
RULE 1 – DELIVERY OF JUDGMENT AT OR AFTER TRIAL

The Judge shall, at the trial or after trial, deliver judgment in open court, and shall direct judgment to be entered.

RULE 2 – DATE OF JUDGMENT PRONOUNCED IN COURT

Where any judgment is pronounced by a Judge, the judgment shall be dated as of the day on which such judgment is pronounced and shall take effect from that date.

RULE 3 – DATE OF JUDGMENT DIRECTED TO BE ENTERED

When any judgment is directed to be entered by an order made on application for judgment, the judgment shall, unless the Judge otherwise orders, be dated as of the day on which the order is made and take effect from that date: Provided that the order may direct that the judgment shall not be entered until a given date, in which case it shall take effect from that date.

RULE 4 – JUDGE MAY DIRECT TIME FOR PAYMENT, PERFORMANCE AND INTEREST

The Judge at the time of making any judgment or order or at any time afterwards, may direct the time within which the payment is to be made or other act is to be done, reckoned from the date of the judgment or order, or from some other point of time, as the Judge deems fit and may order interest at a rate not more than 20% per annum to be paid upon any judgment.

RULE 5 – TIME TO BE STATED FOR DOING ANY ACT

Every judgment or order made in any cause or matter requiring any person to do an act shall state the time or the time after service of the judgment or order, within which the act is to be done; there shall be endorsed on the judgment or order, a memorandum by the Registrar in the following words, viz: Memorandum to be endorsed “If you, the within-named A, B, neglect to obey this judgment (or order) by the time therein limited, you will be liable to process of execution for the purpose of compelling you to obey the said judgment (or order)” and same shall be served upon the person required to obey the judgment or order.

RULE 6 – JUDGMENT BY CONSENT WHERE DEFENDANT APPEARS BY A LEGAL PRACTITIONER

In any cause or matter where the defendant has appeared by a legal practitioner, no order for entering judgment shall be made by consent unless the consent of the defendant is given by his legal practitioner or agent.

RULE 7 – JUDGMENT BY CONSENT WHERE DEFENDANT HAS NO LEGAL PRACTITIONER

Where the defendant has no legal practitioner, such order shall not be made unless the defendant gives his consent in person in open Court.

RULE 8 – PAYMENT BY INSTALLMENTS

(1) When any judgment or order directs the payment of money, the Court may, for any sufficient reason, order that the amount shall be paid by installments, with or without interest. (2) Such order may be made at the time of giving judgment or at any time afterwards, and may be rescinded upon sufficient cause and at any time.


 Rules in ORDER 34 – DRAWING TIP OF ORDERS
RULE 1 – DATE OF ORDER WHEN DRAWN

Every order shall bear the date on which it was made, unless the Judge otherwise directs and shall take effect accordingly.

RULE 2 – WHAT ORDERS NEED NOT BE DRAWN UP

(1) Where an order has been made not embodying any special terms, nor including any special directions, but simply enlarging time for taking any proceedings or doing any act or giving leave for: (a) the issue of any writ other than a writ of attachment; (b) the amendment of any writ or pleadings; (c) the filing of any document; or (d) any act to be done by any officer of the Court other than a legal practitioner, it shall not be necessary to draw up such order unless the Judge otherwise directs; but the production of a note or memorandum of such order signed by a Judge shall be sufficient authority for such enlargement of time, issue, amendment, filing or other act. (2) A direction that the costs of such order, shall be costs in any cause or matter, shall not be deemed to be a special direction within the meaning of this rule.

RULE 3 – FORM OF ORDER

An order shall be sealed, and shall be marked with the name of the Judge by whom it is made.


 Rules in ORDER 35 – TRANSFER AND CONSOLIDATION
RULE 1 – ORDER TRANSFERRING PROCEEDINGS TO HIGH COURT CAP. 97

Where a Judge has in exercise of any powers conferred on him by any relevant law, ordered the transfer of any action or matter from a lower Court to the High Court, a copy of the order duly certified by the Registrar shall forthwith be sent to the Registrar of the lower Court and the latter shall forthwith transmit to the High Court, the documents referred to in the relevant law and other necessary documents and processes.

RULE 2 – PAYMENT OF FILING FEES

(1) On receipt by the Court of the relevant documents and processes, the Registrar shall notify the party who applied for the transfer, or where the transfer was not made on the application of any party, the claimant shall attend the registry and pay the fees for filing the documents. Such payment shall be without prejudice to the question of how the costs shall ultimately be borne. (2) Such notification shall be effected by serving a notice personally on the party concerned, or, where an address for service has been given by such party, at that address.

RULE 3 – DUTIES OF REGISTRAR

(1) The Registrar shall on payment of the prescribed fees, in any case not later than 7 days: (a) file the documents received from the lower Court; (b) make an entry of the filing in the Cause Book; and (c) transmit the documents to the Chief Judge or such other Judge appointed by the Chief Judge. (2) The Registrar shall then give notice to the parties to attend in person or by counsel before a named Judge on the day and at the time specified in the notice. The fees for the service of this notice shall be borne in the first instance by the party who has paid the fees for filing as provided by rule 2 of this Order.

RULE 4 – DIRECTIONS

(1) The Judge or such other Judge appointed by him shall, not later than 14 days after receiving the documents referred to in rule 3 of this Order: (a) hear the parties or their legal practitioners; (b) take cognisance of the documents thereafter; and (c) give directions for the trial or hearing of the action or matter. (2) Directions given under this rule may include directions for the filing and service of pleadings.

RULE 5 – PARTY FAILING TO ATTEND

(1) If the claimant fails to attend in compliance with a notice given under sub-rule 2 of rule 3 of this Order, the Judge shall record his default and may, suo motu or on application, dismiss the action or matter. Upon an application by a defendant to dismiss the action or matter, the Judge may either dismiss the action or matter upon such terms as may be just or make such other order on such terms as he deems just. (2) If the defendant fails or all of several defendants fail to attend in compliance with a notice given under sub-rule 2 of rule 3, the claimant may obtain judgment with costs or obtain the order prayed for in the transferred proceedings by an application in the open Court.

RULE 6 – CONSTRUCTION

In the preceding rule of this Order, the references to the claimant and the defendant shall, in relation to proceedings commenced otherwise than by writ, be construed as references to the applicant and the respondent.

RULE 7 – TRANSFER OF CAUSE OR MATTER

A cause or matter may, before evidence is taken, and at the request of either party to the suit, be transferred by a Judge before whom the cause or matter is pending, to another Court of the same division.

RULE 8 – RE-ASSIGNMENT OF CAUSE OR MATTER

A cause or matter may at any stage of the proceedings upon application by either party, be re-assigned to another Judge of the same division or of any other division by the Chief Judge whether or not the cause or matter is being heard before him.

RULE 9 – ACTION BY THE CHIEF JUDGE ON TRANSFER

If for any reason, a Judge hearing a cause or matter, and who has taken any step in the proceedings, considers it necessary, either in his own opinion or upon application of any party to the proceedings, to have the cause or matter transferred to another Judicial Division, the Judge shall refer the cause or matter to the Chief Judge who may direct that the matter be transferred to the appropriate Judicial Division, in accordance with these Rules.

RULE 10 – CONSOLIDATION

(1) Where actions are pending before different Judges, a party desiring consolidation shall first apply to the Chief Judge for transfer of the matter to a Judge before whom one or more of the matters are pending. (2) An order to consolidate may be made where two or more actions are pending between the same claimant and the same defendant or between the same claimant, different defendants or between different claimants and the same defendant or between different claimants and different defendants: Provided that where the same claimant brings actions against different defendants, they will not be consolidated without the consent of all parties unless the issues to be tried are identical. (3) Where an order for consolidation has been made, it shall be drawn up, at the expense of the party or parties who applied for consolidation and shall be recorded in the Cause Book. (4) The Judge may on application, consolidate several actions pending before him where it appears that the issues are the same in all the actions and can therefore be properly tried and determined at the same time.


 Rules in ORDER 36 – INTERLOCUTORY AND INTERIM INJUNCTIONS
RULE 1 – APPLICATION FOR INJUNCTION

Preservation of property (1) An application for the grant of an injunction may be made by any party to an action before or after the trial of the action, whether or not a claim for injunction was included in that party’s action. (2) Where the applicant is the claimant and the case is one of urgency, such application for the grant of an injunction may be made ex-parte on affidavit but, except as aforesaid, such application shall be made by motion on notice or summons. (3) The claimant may not make such an application for the grant of an injunction before the issue of the process by which the action is to be begun, except where the case is one of urgency, and in that case, the injunction applied for may be granted on terms provided for the issue of the process and such other terms, if any, as the Court thinks fit. (4) An application for injunction made ex-parte shall be considered and determined not later than sixty days from the date of filing while one made on notice may be considered and determined not later than 60 days from the date of filing.

RULE 2 – DETENTION, PRESERVATION, ETC, OF SUBJECT-MATTER OF ACTION

(1) On the application of any party to an action, the Court may make an order for the detention, custody or preservation of any property which is the subject-matter of the action or as to which any question may arise therein or for the inspection of any such property in the possession of a party to the action. (2) For the purpose of enabling any order under sub- rule (1) to be carried out, the Court may by the order, authorise any person to enter upon any land or building in the possession of any party to the action. (3) Where the right of any party to a specific fund is in dispute in an action, the Court may, on the application of the party, order the fund to be paid into Court or otherwise secured. (4) An order under this rule may be made on such terms, if any, as the Court thinks just. (5) An application for an order under this rule shall be made by summons or motion on notice. (6) Unless the Court otherwise directs, an application by the defendant for such an order may not be made before he enters an appearance.

RULE 3 – POWER TO ORDER SAMPLES TO BE TAKEN

(1) Where the Court considers it necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full information or evidence in any action, it may, on the application of a party and on such terms, if any, as it thinks just, by order authorise or require any sample to be taken of any property which is the subject-matter of the action or as to which any question may arise therein, any observation to be made on such properly or any experiment to be tried on or with such property. (2) For the purpose of enabling any order under sub-rule (1) to be carried out, the Court may by an order, authorise any person to enter any land or building in the possession of any party. (3) Sub-rules (5) and (6) of rule 2 shall apply in relation to an application for an order under this rule as they apply in relation to an application for an order under that rule.

RULE 4 – SALE OF PERISHABLE PROPERTY, ETC.

(1) The Court may on the application of any party, make an order for the sale by such person, in such manner and on such terms (if any) as may be specified in the order, of any property (other than land) which is the subject -matter of the action or as to which any question arises therein and which is of a perishable nature or likely to deteriorate if kept or which for any other reason, it is desirable to sell forthwith. (2) Sub-rules (5) and (6) of rule 2 shall apply in relation to an application for an order under this rule as they apply in relation to an application for an order under rule 2.

RULE 5 – ORDER FOR AN EARLY TRIAL

Where on the hearing of an application made before the trial of a cause or matter, for an injunction on appointment of a receiver or an order under rules 2, 3 or 4, or it appears to the Court that the matter in dispute can be better dealt with by an early trial than by considering the whole merit thereof for the purposes of the application, the Court may make an order accordingly and may also make such order with respect to the period before trial as the justice of the case requires.

RULE 6 – ORDER FOR RECOVERY OF SPECIFIC PROPERTY OTHER THAN LAND SUBJECT TO LIEN, ETC 128

Unless the Court otherwise directs, an application by the defendant for such an order may not be made before he enters an appearance.

RULE 7 – DIRECTIONS

Where an application is made under any of the foregoing provisions of this Order, the Court may give directions as to further proceedings in the action.

RULE 8 – ALLOWANCE OF INCOME OF PROPERTY PENDENTE LITE

Where any real or personal property forms the subject-matter of any proceedings, and the Court is satisfied that it will be more than sufficient to answer all the claims thereon for which provision ought to be made in the proceedings, the Court may at any time allow the whole or part of the income of the property to be paid, during such period as it may direct, to any or all of the parties who have an interest therein or may direct that any part of the personal property be transferred or delivered to any or all such parties.

RULE 9 – APPLICATION FOR RECEIVER AND INJUNCTION

Part 11 Receivers (1) An application for the appointment of a receiver may be made by motion on notice. (2) An application for an injunction ancillary or incidental to an order appointing a receiver, may be joined with the application for the order. (3) Where the applicant wishes to apply for the immediate grant of such an injunction, he may do so ex-parte on affidavit in an appropriate case. (4) The Court hearing an application under sub-rule (3) may grant an injunction restraining the party beneficially entitled to any interest in the property of which a receiver is sought from assigning, charging or otherwise dealing with that property pending the hearing of a summons for the appointment of a receiver and may require such a summons, returnable on such date as the Court may direct, to be issued.

RULE 10 – GIVING OF SECURITY BY RECEIVER

(1) Where a judgment is given, or order made, directing the appointment of a receiver, then, unless the judgment or order otherwise directs, a person shall not be appointed a receiver in accordance with the judgment or order until he has given security in accordance with this rule. (2) Where, by virtue of sub-rule (1), or any judgment or order appointing a person named therein to be receiver, a person is required to give security in accordance with this rule, he shall give security approved by the Court duly to account for what he receives as a receiver and to deal with it as the Court directs. (3) Unless the Court otherwise directs, the security shall be by guarantee or, if the amount for which the security is to be given does not exceed N2,000 (two thousand naira), by an undertaking. (4) The guarantee or undertaking shall be filed in the Court registry. (5) The requirement of security shall not apply to Court officials or other public officers appointed.

RULE 11 – REMUNERATION OF A RECEIVER

A person appointed a receiver shall be allowed such proper remuneration, if any, as may be fixed by the Court.

RULE 12 – RECEIVER’S ACCOUNT

(1) A receiver shall submit account to the Court at such intervals or on such dates as the Court may direct, in order that they may be passed. (2) Unless the Court otherwise directs, each account submitted by a receiver shall be accompanied by an affidavit verifying it. The receiver’s account and affidavit (if any) shall be left at the registrar’s office, and the claimant or party having the conduct of the cause or matter shall thereupon obtain an appointment for the purpose of passing the account. (3) The passing of a receiver’s account shall be certified by the registrar.

RULE 13 – PAYMENT OF BALANCE, ETC, BY RECEIVER

The days on which a receiver shall pay into Court the amount shown by his account as due from him or such part thereof as the Court may certify as proper to be paid in by him, shall be fixed by the Court.

RULE 14 – DEFAULT BY RECEIVER

(1) Where a receiver fails to attend for the passing of any account of his, or fails to submit any account, makes any affidavit or does any other thing which he is required to submit, make or do, he and any or all of the parties to the cause or matter in which he was appointed, may be required to attend in chambers to show cause for the failure, and the Court may, either in chambers or after adjournment into Court, give such directions as it thinks proper including, if necessary, directions for the discharge of the receiver and the appointment of another and the payment of costs. (2) Without prejudice to sub-rule (1), where a receiver fails to attend for the passing of any account of his or fails to submit any account or fails to pay into Court on the date fixed by the Court, any sum shown by his account as due from him, the Court may disallow a remuneration claimed by the receiver in any subsequent account and may, where he has failed to pay any such sum into Court, charge him with interest at the rate of ten per centum per annum on that sum while in his possession as a receiver.


 Rules in ORDER 37 – INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATIONS
RULE 1 – TIME TO APPLY

Interlocutory applications may be made at any stage of an action.

RULE 2 – APPLICATION BY MOTION

(1) Where by these Rules, any application is authorized to be made to the Court or a Judge in chambers or a Registrar, such application may be made by motion which may be supported by affidavit and shall state under what Rule of Court or Law the application is brought. Every motion shall be served within 5 days of filing. (2) Where the other party intends to oppose the application, he shall within 7 days of the service on him of such application, file his written address and may accompany it with a counter-affidavit.

RULE 3 – AFFIDAVIT TO BE SERVED WITH MOTION

(1) Where service of a motion is required by these Rules or directed by the Court or Judge, such motion shall be served together with all affidavit on which the party moving intends to rely. (2) The applicant may on being served with the written address of the opposing party, file and serve an address in reply on point of law within 7 days of being served. Where a counter-affidavit is served on the applicant, he may file further-affidavit with his reply.

RULE 4 – ADJOURNMENT

The hearing of any motion may, from time to time, be adjourned upon such terms as the Court may think fit.

RULE 5 – WHEN NOTICE OF MOTION SHOULD BE GIVEN

(1) Except where an application ex-parte is required or permitted under any Law or Rules, every motion shall be on notice to the other party. (2) No application for an injunction shall be made exparte unless the applicant files with it, a motion on notice in respect of the application. (3) An order of injunction made upon an application exparte shall abate after 14 days .

RULE 6 – AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF EX-PARTE MOTION

(1) A motion ex-parte shall be supported by affidavit, which shall state sufficient grounds why delay in granting the order sought would entail irreparable damage or serious mischief to the party moving. (2) The Court, if satisfied that to delay the motion till after notice is given to the parties affected would entail irrepairable damage or serious mischief to the party moving or it is impossible to serve the parties affected within seven days, may hear an application ex-parte and make an order accordingly upon such terms as to cost or otherwise and subject to such reasonable undertakings, as the justice of the case demands.

RULE 7 – ARGUMENTS ON MOTION

Any party moving the Court ex-parte shall support his motion with a written address and any party to the suit or proceedings, who is present, is entitled to be heard.

RULE 8 – ORDERS ON EX-PARTE MOTIONS

Where a motion is made ex-parte, the Court may make, or refuse to make the order sought, or may grant an order to show cause why the order sought should not be made.

RULE 9 – COURT MAY VARY OR DISCHARGE ORDER

(1) Where an order is made on a motion ex-parte, any party affected by it may within seven days after service of it, or within such further time as the Court shall allow, apply to the Court by motion to vary or discharge it; and the Court, on notice to the party obtaining the order, either may refuse to vary or discharge with or without imposing terms as to costs or security, or otherwise, as seems just. (2) The hearing and determination of either the motion to vary or discharge or the motion on notice, must be within a maximum period of sixty days. (3) Unless the Court gives special leave to the contrary, there shall be at least two clear days between the service of any affidavit including counter-affidavit or a notice of a motion and the day fixed for hearing of the motion. (4) Service by a solicitor on another Notice of motion may, without leave of the Court, be served by a solicitor, on the opposing solicitor, and such service shall be good service. Where the above procedure is used, an affidavit of service sworn to by the person who effected the service, exhibiting the endorsement of the service copy, shall be sufficient proof of service.

RULE 10 – RETURN-DAY TO BE SPECIFIED

An order to show cause shall specify a day when cause is to be shown, to be called the return-day to the order, which shall not be less than three days after service.

RULE 11 – COUNTER-EVIDENCE

A person served with an order to show cause may, before the return-day, produce evidence to contradict the evidence used in obtaining the order, or setting forth other facts on which he relies to induce the Court to discharge or vary such order.

RULE 12 – FURTHER SERVICE IN CERTAIN CASES

On the return-day, if the person served does not appear and it appears to the Court that the service on all proper parties has not been duly effected, the Court may enlarge the time and direct further service or make such other order as seems just.

RULE 13 – APPEARANCE OR PROOF OF SERVICE

If the person served appears, or the Court is satisfied that service has been duly effected, the Court may proceed with the matter.

RULE 14 – GENERAL POWERS AS TO ORDERS

The Court may either discharge the order or make the same absolute, or adjourn the consideration thereof, or permit further evidence to be produced in support of or against the order, and may modify the terms of the order so as to meet the merits of the case.

RULE 15 – SERVICE OF NOTICE

Unless the Court gives special leave to the contrary, there shall be at least two clear days between the service of a notice of motion and the day named in the notice for hearing the motion.

RULE 16 – SERVING OF MOTION

Notice of motion may, without leave of the Court, be served by any person, notwithstanding that such person is not an officer of the Court.

RULE 17 – SERVICE ON SOLICITOR

Where a party acts by a solicitor, service of notice of motion on the solicitor shall be deemed good service on that party.

RULE 18 – COPY OF AFFIDAVIT TO BE SERVED WITH NOTICE

Along with the notice of motion, there shall be served a copy of an affidavit on which the party moving intends to rely at the hearing of the motion.

RULE 19 – ORDER FOR SERVICE

If at the hearing of any motion, the Court shall be of opinion that any person, to whom notice has not been given, ought to have or to have had the notice, the Court may either dismiss the motion, or adjourn the hearing thereof in order that the notice may be given, upon such terms as the Court may seem fit.

RULE 20 – SERVICE WITH WRIT OF SUMMONS

The claimant may, by leave of the Court, cause any notice of motion to be served upon any defendant with the writ of summons.

RULE 21 – ORAL EVIDENCE

Oral evidence shall not be heard in support of any motion unless by leave of the Court. Where the party moving is illiterate, the Court may direct evidence to be taken by the Registrar, or other fit officer of Court, and the minutes of such evidence may be used as an affidavit.

RULE 22 – EVIDENCE IN ADDITION TO OR IN LIEU OF AFFIDAVITS

In addition to or in lieu of affidavits the Court may, if it thinks it expedient, examine any witness viva voce, or receive documents in evidence, and may summon any person to attend to produce documents before it, or to be examined or cross-examined before it in like manner as at the hearing of a suit.

RULE 23 – NOTICE TO PARTIES AND INTERESTED PERSONS

Such notice as the Court in each case, according to the circumstances, considers reasonable, shall be given to the persons summoned, and to such persons (parties to the cause or matter or otherwise interested) as the Court considers entitled to inspect the documents to be produced, or to examine the person summoned, or to be present at his examination, as the case may be.

RULE 24 – EVIDENCE: HOW TAKEN

The evidence of a witness on any such examination shall be taken in like manner as nearly as may be as at the hearing of a suit.

RULE 25 – AFFIDAVIT NOT FILED WITH MOTION PAPER

Upon the hearing of any motion, the Court may, on such terms as to cost and adjournment as it may think fit, allow any additional affidavit to be used, after such affidavit has been duly filed and served on the opposite side.

RULE 26 – REGISTRAR TO HAVE POWERS OF A JUDGE

A registrar hearing any application by virtue of the provisions of these Rules, shall have and exercise all the powers conferred by these Rules on the Court or a Judge when dealing with such applications.

RULE 27 – ONLY LEGALLY QUALIFIED REGISTRAR TO HEAR APPLICATION

No Registrar other than one who is also a qualified legal practitioner shall have the power to hear and determine any application which by these Rules is conferred upon a Registrar.

RULE 28 – APPLICATION

In any Judicial Division where there is no legally qualified Registrar, any application which by these Rules is authorised to be determined by a Registrar, shall be made to a Judge who in his absolute discretion may take such application in Court or in chambers.

RULE 29 – PERSONS DISSATISFIED WITH RULING OF REGISTRAR MAY APPLY TO THE COURT OR A JUDGE IN CHAMBERS

(1) Upon the determination of any application by a Registrar, any party dissatisfied with the ruling or decision of the Registrar in the matter, may within fourteen days of the decision or ruling, apply to the Court or to a Judge in chambers for a redress in the following manner and circumstances: (a) Where the aggrieved party is the mover of the application before the Registrar, he shall renew his application before the Court or a Judge; (b) Where the aggrieved party is the respondent to the application before the Registrar, he shall apply to the Court or a Judge for an order setting aside the order of the Registrar, about which he is dissatisfied. (2) (a) Any application under paragraph (a) or (b) of sub-rule (1) of this rule shall be supported by affidavit showing the grounds upon which redress is sought. (b) There shall be attached to the application, a copy of the ruling or decision of the Registrar with which the party is dissatisfied and copies of all affidavits and documents used in support of the application before the Registrar.


 Rules in ORDER 38 – APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW
RULE 1 – CASES APPROPRIATE FOR APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

(1) An Application for: (a) an order of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari; or (b) an injunction restraining a person from acting in any office in which he is not entitled to act; shall be made by way of an application for Judicial Review in accordance with the provisions of this Order. (2) An application for a declaration or an injunction (not being an injunction mentioned in paragraph (b) of sub-rule (1) may be made by way of an application for Judicial Review and on such an application, the Court may grant the declaration or injunction claimed if it considers that having regard to: (a) the nature of the matters in respect of which relief may be granted by way of an order of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari; (b) the nature of the persons and bodies against whom relief may be granted by way of such an order; and (c) all the circumstances of the case. It would be just and convenient for the declaration or injunction to be granted on an application for Judicial Review.

RULE 2 – JOINDER OF CLAIMS FOR-RELIEF

On an application for Judicial Review, any relief mentioned, in rule (1) or (2) may be claimed as an alternative or in addition to any other relief so mentioned, if it arises out of or relates to or is connected with the same matter.

RULE 3 – GRANT OF LEAVE TO APPLY FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

(1) No application for Judicial Review shall be made unless the leave of the Court has been obtained in accordance with this rule. (2) An application for leave shall be made ex-parte to the Court, except during vacation when it may be made to a Judge in chambers, and shall be supported by: (a) a statement, setting out the name and description of the applicant, the relief sought and the grounds on which it is sought; (b) an affidavit, to be filed with the application, verifying the facts relied on; and (c) a written address in support of application for leave. (3) The applicant shall file the application not later than the day before the motion is heard and shall at the same time lodge copies of the statement and every affidavit in support. (4) The Court hearing an application for leave may allow the applicant’s statement to be amended, whether by specifying different or additional grounds or relief or otherwise on such terms, if any, as it thinks fit. (5) The Court shall not grant leave unless it considers that the applicant has a sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates. (6) Where leave is sought to apply for an order of certiorari to any judgment, order, conviction or other proceedings which is subject to appeal and a time is limited for the bringing of the appeal, the Court may adjourn the application for leave until the appeal is determined or the time for appealing has expired. (7) If the Court grants leave, it may impose such terms as to costs and as to giving security as it thinks fit. (8) Where an application for leave is refused by a Judge the applicant may make a fresh application to another Judge. (9) An application to a Judge under sub-rule (8) shall be made within 10 days after the Judge’s refusal to give leave. (10) Where leave to apply for judicial review is granted, then: (a) if the relief sought is an order of prohibition or certiorari and the Court so directs, the grant shall operate as a stay of the proceedings to which the application relates until the determination of the application or until the Court otherwise orders. (b) if any relief is sought, the Court may at any time in the proceedings grant such interim relief as could be granted in an action begun by writ.

RULE 4 – DELAY IN APPLYING FOR RELIEF

(1) Subject to the provisions of this rule, where in any case the Court considers that there has been undue delay in making an application for judicial review or, in a case to which sub-rule (2) applies, the application for leave under rule 3 is made after the relevant period has expired, the Court may refuse to grant: (a) leave for the making of the application; or (b) any relief sought on the application; if in the opinion of the Court the granting of the relief sought is likely to cause substantial hardship to, or substantially prejudice the rights of any person or would be detrimental to administration of justice. (2) In the case of an application for an order of certiorari to remove any judgment, order, conviction or other proceeding for the purpose of quashing it, the relevant period for the purpose of sub rule (1) is three months after the date of the proceedings. (3) Sub-rule (1) is without prejudice to any statutory provision which has the effect of limiting the time within which an application for judicial review may be made.

RULE 5 – MODE OF APPLYING FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

(1) Subject to sub-rule (2), when leave has been granted to make an application for judicial review, the application shall be made by originating motion. (2) Where leave has been granted and the Judge or Court so directs, the application may be made by motion to a Judge sitting in open court. (3) The notice of motion shall be served on all persons directly affected and where it relates to any proceedings in or before a Court and the object of the application is either to compel the Court or an officer of the Court to do any act in relation to the proceedings or to quash them or any order made therein, the notice or summons shall also be served on the clerk or Registrar of the Court and, where any objection to the conduct of the Judge is to be made, same shall be served on the Judge. (4) Unless the Court granting leave has otherwise directed, there shall be at least 8 days between the service of the notice of motion and the day named therein for the hearing. (5) A motion shall be entered for hearing within 14 days after the grant of leave. (6) An affidavit giving the names and addresses of, and the places and dates of service on all persons who have been served with the notice of motion, shall be filed before the motion is entered for hearing and, if any person who ought to be served under this rule has not been served, the affidavit shall state that fact and the reason for it, and the affidavit shall be before the Court on the hearing of the motion. (7) If on the hearing of the motion, the Court is of opinion that any person who ought, whether under this rule or otherwise, to have been served has not been served, the Court may adjourn the hearing on such terms (if any) as it may direct in order that the notice may be served on that person.

RULE 6 – STATEMENT AND AFFIDAVITS

(1) Copies of the statement in support of an application for leave under rule 3 shall be served with the notice of motion and, subject to sub-rule (2), no grounds shall be relied upon or any relief sought at the hearing except the grounds and relief set out in the statement. (2) The Court may on the hearing of the motion, allow the applicant to amend his statement whether by specifying different or additional grounds of relief or otherwise, on such terms, if any, as it thinks fit and may allow further-affidavits to be used if they deal with new matters arising out of an affidavit of any other party to the application. (3) Where the applicant intends to ask to be allowed to amend his statement or to use further-affidavits, he shall give notice of his intention and of any proposed amendment to every other party. (4) Each party to the application shall supply to every other party on demand and on payment of the proper Court charges, copies of every affidavit which he proposes to use at the hearing including, in the case of the applicant, the affidavit in support of the application for leave under rule 3.

RULE 7 – CLAIM FOR DAMAGES

On an application for judicial review, the Court may, subject to sub-rule (2), award damages to the applicant if: (a) he has included in the statement in support of his application for leave under rule 3, a claim for damages arising from any matter to which the application relates; and (b) the Court is satisfied that if the claim had been made in an action begun by the applicant at the time of making his application, he could have been awarded damages.


 Rules in ORDER 39 – JURISDICTION OF CHIEF REGISTRAR
RULE 1 – CHIEF REGISTRAR

In this Order, any reference to the Chief Registrar means the Chief Registrar of the High Court and includes the Deputy-Chief Registrar.

RULE 2 – BUSINESS TO BE TRANSACTED BY CHIEF REGISTRAR

The Chief Registrar may transact all such business and exercise all such authority and jurisdiction as may be transacted or exercised by a Judge in respect of the following matters: (a) Applications for the taxation and delivery of bills of costs and applications for the delivery by any legal practitioner of deeds, documents and papers; (b) The taking of an account in any case where a Judge has ordered that the account be taken by the Chief Registrar; (c) The taxation of bills of costs; and (d) Applications leading to the issue of the grant of probate of the Wills or Letters of Administration of the estates of deceased persons in non-contentious or common form probate business.

RULE 3 – CHIEF REGISTRAR MAY REFER MATTERS TO THE CHIEF JUDGE

If any matter appears to the Chief Registrar, proper for the decision of a Judge, he may refer same to the Chief Judge or the Judge who referred the matter to the Chief Registrar. The Chief Judge or the Judge may either dispose of the matter or refer the same back to the Chief Registrar with such directions as he may deem fit.

RULE 4 – APPEAL FROM ORDER OF CHIEF REGISTRAR

Any person affected by an order or decision of the Chief Registrar in the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon him by this Order may appeal therefrom to a Judge. Such appeal shall be by notice in writing to attend before the Judge without a fresh summons within 5 days after the decision complained of or such further time as may be allowed by the Judge. Unless otherwise ordered, there shall be at least 2 clear days between service of the notice of appeal and the day of hearing. An appeal from the decision of the Chief Registrar shall not operate as a stay of proceedings unless so ordered by the Judge.

RULE 5 – CHIEF REGISTRAR’S LIST

Lists of matters to be heard by the Chief Registrar shall be made out and published by being posted on the Courts’ notice boards.

RULE 6 – LEGAL PRACTITIONER MAY REPRESENT PARTY

In any proceedings before the Chief Registrar under the jurisdiction vested in him by this Order, a legal practitioner may represent any party.

RULE 7 – CERTIFICATE

1 – Chief Registrar’s certificate Except as otherwise provided for in these Rules, the directions to be given for or concerning any proceedings before the Chief Registrar shall require no particular form, but the result of such proceedings shall be stated in a concise certificate.

RULE 8 – REFERENCE TO JUDGMENT, ETC.

The certificate of the Chief Registrar regarding accounts and inquiries shall not, unless the circumstances of the case render it necessary, set out the judgment or order or any documents or evidence or reasons but shall refer to the judgment or order, documents and evidence or particular paragraphs thereof, so that it may appear upon what the result stated in the certificate is founded.

RULE 9 – FORM OF CERTIFICATE

(1) In case of accounts and inquiries, the certificate of the Chief Registrar shall be in Form 28 with such variations as the circumstances may require. Civil Form 28 (2) Contents of certificate in cases of accounts and transcripts The certificate shall state the result of the account and not set the same out by way of schedule, but shall refer to the account verified by the affidavit filed and shall specify by the numbers attached to the items in the account which (if any) of such items have been disallowed or varied and shall state what additions (if any) have been made by way of surcharge or otherwise and where the account verified by the affidavit has been so altered that it is necessary to have a fair transcript of the account so altered, such transcript may be required to be made by the party prosecuting the judgment or order and shall then be referred to by the certificate. The accounts and transcripts (if any) referred to by the certificate shall be filed therewith.

RULE 10 – WHEN CERTIFICATE BECOMES BINDING

Every certificate with the accounts (if any) to be filed therewith, shall be transmitted by the Chief Registrar to the Registry for filing and shall henceforth be binding on all parties to the proceedings unless discharged or varied upon an application made to a Judge before the expiration of 8 clear days after the filing of the certificate.

RULE 11 – BILL OF COSTS

When taxing a bill of costs, the Chief Registrar shall insert in red ink against every item disallowed, reduced or altered by him, the substance of the modification made by him and at the bottom of the bill of costs, he shall certify the net result of the taxation. The bill of costs shall then be transmitted by the Chief Registrar to the Registry for filing and the provisions of rule 10 of this Order shall apply in respect of such certificate.

RULE 12 – DISCHARGE OR VARIATION OF CERTIFICATE AFTER LAPSE OF ANY TIME

The Judge may, if the special circumstances of the case require, upon an application, direct a certificate to be discharged or varied at any time after same has become binding on the parties.


 Rules in ORDER 40 – HABEAS CORPUS, ATTACHMENT FOR CONTEMPT
RULE 1 – APPLICATION: HOW MADE

An application for an Order of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum shall be made to the Court, except that: (a) during vacation or at anytime when no Judge is sitting in Court, it may be made to a Judge sitting otherwise than in Court. (b) in cases where the application is made on behalf of a child, it shall be made in the first instance to a Judge sitting otherwise than in Court. (1) The application may be made ex-parte and shall be accompanied by an affidavit by the person restrained showing that it is made at his instance and setting out the nature of the restraint. (2) Where the person restrained is unable, owing to the restraint, to make the affidavit, the application shall be accompanied by an affidavit to the like effect made by some other person which shall state that the person restrained is unable to make the affidavit himself.

RULE 2 – POWER TO ISSUE ORDER OF RELEASE IMMEDIATELY

(1) A Judge to whom the application is made may make the order forthwith. (2) Where the application is made to a Judge sitting otherwise than in Court, he may direct the Order to issue or that an application therefore be made by notice of motion to the Judge or to a Judge. (3) A Judge to whom the application is made may adjourn it so that notice thereof may be given to the jailer. (4) Where the person detained is produced before a Judge, he may discharge him immediately with or without conditions.

RULE 3 – SERVICE OF NOTICE

(1) The summons or notice of motion aforesaid shall be served on the person against whom the order is sought and on such other persons as the Judge may direct. (2) Unless the Judge otherwise directs, there shall be at least 2 clear days between the service of the notice and the date named for the hearing of the application.

RULE 4 – COPIES OF AFFIDAVIT

Every party to the application shall supply to the other party or parties, copies of the affidavits which he proposes to use at the hearing of the application.

RULE 5 – SERVICE OF ORDER TO RELEASE

(1) The order or notice of motion may be served personally or by courier on a jailer, where the person is confined or restrained or on any other public official and copies of the order or motion may be served in like manner on each person connected with or having authority over the place of confinement or restraint. (2) The order shall contain the date on which the person restrained is to be brought before a Judge and that in default of obedience, proceedings for attachment of the party disobeying will be taken.

RULE 6 – STATEMENT AND VERIFYING AFFIDAVIT

Upon service of the order or notice of motion on the jailer, he shall within 2 days file a statement stating the reasons for the detention, the period of the detention and any other matter that may be directed by the Judge. The statement shall be verified by an affidavit deposed to by the jailer.

RULE 7 – PROCEDURE AT HEARING

1) Where the prisoner is brought up in accordance with the order, his legal practitioner shall be heard first, then the legal practitioner for the State and then the legal practitioner for the prisoner in reply. (2) Where the prisoner is not brought in accordance with the order, a Judge may upon the application of his legal practitioner order that he be discharged or make any other order.

RULE 8 – BRINGING UP PRISONER TO GIVE EVIDENCE, ETC.

(1) An application for a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum or of habeas corpus ad respondendum shall be made on affidavit. (2) An application for an order to bring up a prisoner, otherwise than by writ of habeas corpus, to give evidence in any cause or matter, civil or criminal, before any Court or tribunal shall be on affidavit.

RULE 9 – FORM OF WRIT

Civil Forms 29, 30 and 31 A writ of habeas corpus shall be in Forms 29, 30, or 31 in the appendix, whichever is appropriate.

RULE 10 – PROCEDURE FOR ATTACHMENT

11- Attachment for Contempt (1) The procedure in applications for attachment for contempt of Court in cases to which this rule applies shall be the same as for applications for an order for judicial review under Order 38 so far as may be applicable. (2) The notice of motion shall be personally served unless the Judge dispenses with such service. (3) This rule applies to cases where the contempt is committed: (a) in connection with proceedings to which the Order relates; (b) in connection with criminal proceedings; (c) subject to the provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, and any proceedings in the High Court or where the contempt consists of disobedience to an order of the Court; (d) in connection to the proceedings in an inferior Court: Provided that this rule shall not apply where the contempt is committed in facie curiae.

RULE 11 – PROCEDURE ON DISOBEDIENCE TO COURT

When an order enforceable by committal has been made against a judgment debtor, and if the order is for delivery of goods without the option of paying their value or is in the nature of an injunction, the Registrar shall when the order is drawn up, immediately endorse it as follows: Notice of Consequence of Disobedience to Court Order To …… of ………………. TAKE NOTICE that unless you obey the direction(s) contained in this order, you will be guilty of contempt of Court and will be liable to be committed to prison. Dated this ………… day of …………….. 20 ……… ………………………….. Registrar

RULE 12 – RESPONSE

Upon service of the application for committal issued in a case to which rule 9 of this Order applies, the respondent shall before the return date stated in the application, file as a statement stating the reasons why an order for attachment should not be issued. The statement shall be verified by an affidavit deposed to by the respondent.

RULE 13 – RETURN

Every order of attachment issued in a case to which rule 9 of this Order applies shall be made returnable before the Judge. If a return of non est inventus (not found) is made, a subsequent order or orders may be issued on the return of the previous order.


 Rules in ORDER 41 – INTERPLEADER
RULE 1 – WHEN RELIEF BY INTERPLEADER GRANTED

Relief by way of interpleader may be granted where the person seeking relief (“the applicant”) is under liability for any debt, money, goods, or chattels, for or in respect of which he is; or expects to be sued by two or more parties” the claimants making adverse claims thereto: Provided that where the applicant is a sheriff or other officer charged with the execution of process by or under the authority of the High Court, the provisions of Section 34 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act and the rules made under it shall apply.

RULE 2 – MATTER TO BE PROVIDED BY APPLICATION

The applicant must satisfy the Judge by affidavit or otherwise, that he: (a) claims no interest in the subject-matter in dispute other than for charges or costs; (b) does not collude with any of the claimants; and (c) is willing to pay or transfer the subject-matter into Court or to dispose of it as the Judge may direct.

RULE 3 – ADVERSE TITLE OF CLAIMANTS

The applicant shall not be disentitled to relief by reason only that the titles of the claimants do not have a common origin, but are adverse to and independent of one another.

RULE 4 – WHEN APPLICATION IS TO BE MADE BY A DEFENDANT

Where the applicant is a defendant, application for relief may be made at any time after service of the originating process.

RULE 5 – SUMMONS BY APPLICANT

The applicant may take out a summons calling on the claimant to appear and state the nature and particulars of their claims, and either to maintain or relinquish them.

RULE 6 – STAY OF ACTION

If the application is made by a defendant in an action, the Judge may stay all further proceedings in the action.

RULE 7 – ORDER UPON SUMMONS

If the claimants appear in pursuance of the summons, the Judge may order either that any claimants be made a defendant in any action already commenced in respect of the subject-matter in dispute in lieu of, or in addition to the applicant or that an issue between the claimants be stated and tried, and in the latter case, may direct which of the claimant is to be claimant and which is to be defendant.

RULE 8 – QUESTIONS OF LAW

Where the question is a question of law and the facts are not in dispute, the Judge may either decide the questions without directing the trial of an issue or order that a special case be stated for the opinion of the Judge. If a special case is stated, Order 28 shall as far as applicable, apply thereto

RULE 9 – FAILURE OF CLAIMANT TO APPEAR, OR NEGLECT TO OBEY SUMMONS

If a claimant, having been duly served with a summons calling on him to appear to and maintain or relinquish his claim, does not appear in pursuance of the summons or having appeared, neglects or refuses to comply with any order made after his appearance, the Judge may make an order declaring him and all persons claiming under him, forever barred against the applicant and persons claiming under him, but the order shall not affect the rights of the claimants as between themselves.

RULE 10 – COSTS

The Judge may, in or for the purposes of any interpleader proceedings, make all such orders as to costs and all other matters as may be just.


 Rules in ORDER 42 – COMPUTATION OF TIME
RULE 1 – COMPUTATION OF TIME

Where by any written law or any special order made by the Court in the course of any proceedings, any limited time from or after any date or event is appointed or allowed for the doing of any act or the taking of any proceedings, and such time is not limited by hours, the following rules shall apply: (a) The limited time shall not include the day or the date of or the happening of the event, but commences at the beginning of the day following that day; (b) The act or proceedings shall be done or taken latest on the last day of the limited time; (c) Where the time limited is less than five days, no public holiday, Saturday or Sunday shall be reckoned as part of the time; (d) When the time expires on a public holiday, Saturday or Sunday, the act or proceedings shall be considered as done or taken in due time if it is done or taken on the next day afterwards not being a public holiday, Saturday or Sunday.

RULE 2 – NO ENLARGEMENT OF TIME BY CONSENT OF PARTIES

The parties may not by consent, enlarge or abridge any of the times fixed by the provision of these Rules for taking any step, filing any document, or giving any notice.

RULE 3 – COURT MAY EXTEND TIME

(1) The Judge may, as often as he deems fit, and either before or after the expiration of the time appointed by these Rules or by any judgment or order of the Court, extend or adjourn the time for doing any act or taking any proceedings: Provided that any party who defaults in performing an act within the time authorised by the Judge or under these Rules, shall pay to the Court an additional fee of N100.00 (One hundred naira) for each day of such default at the time of compliance. (2) The Court may extend any such period as is referred to in sub-rule (1) although the application for extension is not made until after the expiration of that period.

RULE 4 – NOTICE OF INTENTION TO PROCEED AFTER A YEAR’S DELAY

Where a year or more has elapsed since the last proceedings in a cause or matter, the party who desires to proceed shall give to every other party, not less than 30 days notice of his intention to proceed. A summons on which no order was made is not a proceedings for the purpose of this provision.

RULE 5 – TIME FOR APPLICATION TO SET ASIDE AWARD

Application to set aside or remit an award may be made at any time within six weeks after such award has been made and published to the parties: Provided that the Court or Judge in chambers may by order, extend the said time either before or after it has elapsed.

RULE 6 – TIME OF SERVICE

No pleadings, summons, motions, orders, originating process, documents and other processes shall be served before 6:00a.m or after 6:00p.m. Service effected after 6:00p.m shall be deemed to have been effected the following day: Provided that service effected after 6:00p.m on Saturday shall be deemed to have been effected on the following Monday


 Rules in ORDER 43 – MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
RULE 1 – DAYS OF SITTING

Subject to the provisions of the High Court Law, the Court may at its discretion, appoint any day or days and any place or places from time to time for the hearing of actions as circumstances require.

RULE 2 – PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SITTING OF COURT

The sittings of the Court for the hearing and determination of the rights and obligations of the Parties shall be public: Provided that, subject to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Court may, for special reasons, hear any particular action in the presence only of the parties, with their legal practitioners (if any) and the officers of Court.

RULE 3 – OFFICE HOURS

The several offices of the Court shall be open at such times as the Chief Judge shall direct.

RULE 4 – DAYS OF SITTING AND LONG VACATION

(1) Subject to the directions of the Chief Judge, sittings of the Court for the dispatch of civil matters shall be held on every week day except: (a) on any public holiday; (b) during the week beginning with Easter Monday; and (c) during the period beginning on Christmas Eve and ending on 2nd January next following. (2) There shall be an annual vacation of the Court to commence on such date in August and of such duration, not exceeding six weeks, as the Chief Judge may by notification in the gazette appoint. (3) During the week beginning with Easter Monday, the Judges of the State Judiciary may proceed on an annual retreat.

RULE 5 – VACATION COURTS

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of rule 4, any action may be heard by the Judge in Court during any of the periods mentioned in paragraph (b) or (c) of sub-rule (1) or rule 4(except on a Sunday or public holiday) or sub-rule (2) where such action is urgent or a Judge, at the request of all the parties concerned, agrees to hear the action. (2) An application for an urgent hearing shall be made by summons in chambers, and the decision of the Judge on such an application shall be final.

RULE 6 – VACATION NOT RECKONED IN TIME FOR PLEADING

The time for filing and service of pleadings shall not run during the annual vacation unless otherwise directed by the Court or a Judge in chambers.

RULE 7 – CHAMBERS

No business shall be transacted in chambers on Sundays and public holidays.

RULE 8 – WHAT ORDERS TO BE MADE

Subject to particular rules, the Court may in all causes and matters, make any order which it considers necessary to do substantial justice.

RULE 9 – RECOVERY OF PENALTIES AND COSTS

All fines, forfeiture, pecuniary penalties, and costs ordered to be paid may be levied by distress seizure, and or sale of the movable and immoveable property of the person making default in payment.

RULE 10 – NOTICES

In all cases in which the publication of any notice is required, the same may be made by advertisement in the State Gazette, unless otherwise provided in any particular case, by any rule of Court or otherwise ordered by the Court.

RULE 11 – FILING

A document shall not be filed unless it has endorsed on it, the name and number of the case, the date of filing and whether filed by claimant or defendant, and on being filed such endorsement shall be initialed by the Registrar.

RULE 12 – HOW PROCESSES ARE ADDRESSED

All warrants and orders of whatever description shall be sufficiently addressed for execution by being directed to the Sheriff; but this provision shall not prevent any order or warrant from being addressed to person by name or to a person named or to officers of Court generally or to a Local Government Authority.

RULE 13 – NO FEES WHERE PROCEEDINGS BY GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT

No fees are to be taken in respect of any proceedings where such fees would be payable by any Government Department.

RULE 14 – REGULATIONS

The Regulations regarding fees shall govern the payment and disposal of fees and the duties of Court officers in regard thereto.

RULE 15 – SAVING

Where no provision is made by these Rules or by any other written law, the Court shall adopt such procedure, as will in its view, do substantial justice between the parties concerned.


 Rules in ORDER 44 – ARREST OF ABSCONDING DEFENDANT
RULE 1 – APPLICATION

The following rules shall apply to proceedings under Section 31 of the Law.

RULE 2 – DEFENDANT LEAVING NIGERIA

If in any action where the defendant is about to leave Nigeria, the claimant may, either at the institution of the suit or at any time thereafter until final judgment, apply by ex-parte motion to the Judge for an order that the defendant do show cause why security should not be taken for his appearance to answer and satisfy any judgment that may be passed against him in the suit.

RULE 3 – WARRANT TO ARREST

(1) If the Court after making such investigation as he may consider necessary shall be of the opinion that there is probable cause for believing that the defendant is about to leave Nigeria and that by reason thereof, the execution of any judgment which may be made against him is likely to be obstructed or delayed, the Judge shall issue a warrant as in Form 32 to bring the defendant before him, that he may show cause why he should not give good and sufficient bail for his appearance. (2) Civil Form 32 The defendant shall be brought to Court within 2 days of the execution of the warrant.

RULE 4 – BAIL FOR APPEARANCE OR SATISFACTION

If the defendant fails to show cause, the Judge shall order him to give bail for his appearance at any time when called upon while the suit is pending and until execution or satisfaction of any judgment that may be passed against him in the suit or to give bail for the satisfaction of such judgment, and the surety or sureties shall undertake in default of such appearance or satisfaction to pay any sum of money that may be adjudged against the defendant in the suit with costs.

RULE 5 – DEPOSIT IN LIEU OF BAIL

(1) Where a defendant offers to deposit a sum of money in lieu of bail for his appearance, sufficient to answer the claim against him, with costs of the suit, the Judge may accept such deposit and direct that same be paid into an interest yielding account in a bank, (2) Where a defendant offers security other than money in lieu of bail for his appearance, sufficient to answer the claim against him, the Judge may accept such security and make such order as he may deem fit in the circumstance.

RULE 6 – COMMITTAL IN DEFAULT

(1) If the defendant fails to furnish security or offer a sufficient deposit, the Judge may commit him to custody until the decision of the suit or if judgment has been given against the defendant until the execution of the judgment. (2) Committal to custody under this rule shall not exceed a period of 6 months. (3) The Judge, may at any time upon reasonable cause being shown and upon such terms as to security or otherwise as may seem just, release the defendant.

RULE 7 – COST OF SUBSISTENCE OF PERSON ARRESTED

The expenses incurred for the subsistence in prison of the person so arrested shall be paid by the claimants in the action in advance, and the amount so disbursed may be recovered by the claimants in the suit: unless the Judge shall otherwise order. The Judge may release the person so imprisoned on failure by the claimants to pay the subsistence money, or in case of serious illness, order his removal to hospital.


 Rules in ORDER 45 – PROCEEDINGS IN FORMA PAUPERIS
RULE 1 – APPLICATION

This Order shall apply to proceedings, in respect of which there is no statutory provision for legal aid.

RULE 2 – WHO MAY SUE OR DEFEND IN FORMA PAUPERIS

A Judge may admit a person to sue or defend in forma pauperis if satisfied that his means do not permit him to employ legal representation in the prosecution of his case and that he has reasonable grounds for suing or defending as the case may be.

RULE 3 – CONDITIONS TO BE FULFILLED

(1) A person seeking relief under this Order shall write an application to the Chief Judge accompanied by an affidavit, signed and sworn to by the applicant himself, stating that by reason of poverty, he is unable to afford the services of a legal practitioner. (2) If in the opinion of the Chief Judge, the application is worthy of consideration, the Chief Judge shall appoint a legal practitioner to act for the applicant. (3) Where a legal practitioner is so appointed, the applicant shall not discharge the legal practitioner except with the leave of the Chief Judge.

RULE 4 – FEES AND COSTS

Court fees payable by a person admitted to sue or defend in forma pauperis may be remitted either in whole or in part as a Judge may deem fit and a person so admitted to sue or defend shall not, unless the Judge otherwise orders, be liable to pay or be entitled to receive any costs.

RULE 5 – PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED

(1) The legal practitioner shall not, except by leave of the Chief Judge, take or agree to take any payment whatsoever from the applicant or any other person connected with the applicant to the action taken or defended thereunder. (2) If the applicant pays or agrees to pay any money to any person whosoever, either in connection with his application or the action taken or defended thereunder, the order appointing the legal practitioner shall be revoked. (3) If the legal practitioner assigned to the applicant discovers that the applicant is possessed of means beyond those stated in the affidavit, if any, he shall at once report the matter in writing to the Registrar.

RULE 6 – REVOCATION OF ORDER, DISCONTINUANCE, ETC.

(1) The Chief Judge may, at any time, revoke the order granting the application and thereupon the applicant shall not be entitled to the benefit of this Order in any proceedings to which the application relates unless otherwise ordered. (2) Neither the applicant nor the legal practitioner assigned to him shall discontinue, settle or compromise the action without the leave of a Judge.

RULE 7 – PAYMENT TO LEGAL PRACTITIONER

The Judge may order payment to be made to the legal practitioner out of any money recovered by the applicant or may charge in favour of the legal practitioner, who shall take care that no application or notice is made or given without reasonable cause.

RULE 8 – DUTY OF LEGAL PRACTITIONER

Every order, notice or application on behalf of the applicant, except an application for the discharge of his legal practitioner, shall be signed by his legal practitioner, who shall take care that no application or notice is made or given without reasonable cause.

RULE 9 – APPEALS

No person shall be permitted to appeal in forma pauperis except by leave of the trial or the Appellate Court and then only on grounds of law; but if so permitted, the provisions of this Order shall apply mutatis mutandis to all proceedings in the appeal.


 Rules in ORDER 46 – CHANGE OF LEGAL PRACTITIONER
RULE 1 – LEGAL PRACTITIONER TO CONDUCT CAUSE OR MATTER TO FINAL JUDGMENT

Every legal practitioner who shall be engaged in any cause or matter, shall be bound to conduct same on behalf of the claimant or defendant as the case may be, by or for whom he shall have been so engaged until final judgment, unless allowed for any special reason to cease acting therein.

RULE 2 – APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF LEGAL PRACTITIONER OR WITHDRAWAL

An application for a change of legal practitioner or withdrawal may be made by the claimant or defendant or the legal practitioner as the case may be, not less than 3 clear days before the date fixed for hearing.

RULE 3 – SERVICE OF APPLICATION BY LEGAL PRACTITIONER

Where the application is made by a legal practitioner, it shall be served on all parties to the cause or matter and where applicable, also on the outgoing legal practitioner if he is not the applicant.


 Rules in ORDER 47 – COSTS
RULE 1 – SECURITY FOR COSTS BY DEFENDANT

(1) Where on the application of the defendant to an action or other proceedings in the Court, it appears to the Court that: (a) the claimant is ordinarily resident out of jurisdiction; or (b) the claimant (not being a claimant who is suing in a representative capacity) is a nominal claimant who is suing for the benefit of some other person and that there is reason to believe that he will be unable to pay the costs of the defendant if ordered to do so; or (c) subject to sub-rule (2), the claimant’s address is not stated in the writ or other originating process or is incorrectly stated therein; or (d) the claimant has changed his address during the course of the proceedings with a view to evading the consequences of the litigation, then if, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the Court thinks it just to do so, it may order the claimant to give such security for the defendant’s costs of the action or other proceedings as it thinks just. (2) The Court shall not require a claimant to give security by reason only of paragraph (c) of sub-rule (1) if he satisfies the Court that the failure to state his address or the mis-statement thereof was made innocently and without intention to deceive. (3) The references in the foregoing rule to a claimant and a defendant, shall be construed as references to the person (howsoever described on the record) who is in the position of claimant or defendant, as the case may be, in the proceedings in question, including a proceedings on a counter-claim.

RULE 2 – MANNER OF GIVING SECURITY

Where an order is made requiring any party to give security for costs, the security shall be given in such manner, at such time, and on such terms (if any), as the Court may direct.

RULE 3 – COSTS IN DISCRETION OF COURT

In every suit, the costs of the whole suit, and of each particular proceedings, therein, and the costs of every proceedings in the Court, shall be in the discretion of the Court as regards the person by whom they are to be paid.

RULE 4 – POWERS OF COURT

The Court shall not order the successful party in a suit to pay to the unsuccessful party, the costs of the whole suit, although the Court may order the successful party, notwithstanding his success in the suit, to pay the costs of any particular proceedings therein.

RULE 5 – COSTS OUT OF FUNDS OR PROPERTY

The Court may order any costs to be paid out of any fund or property to which a suit or proceedings relate.

RULE 6 – COURT TO DETERMINE AMOUNT OF COSTS

When the Court adjudges or orders any costs to be paid, the amount of such costs shall be, if practicable, summarily determined by the Court at the time of making the judgment or order named therein.

RULE 7 – PRINCIPLES TO BE OBSERVED IN FIXING COSTS

In fixing the amount of costs, the principle to be observed is that the party who is right is to be indemnified for the expenses to which he has been necessarily put in establishing his claim, defence or counter-claim, but the Court may take into account all the circumstances of the case.

RULE 8 – STAY OF PROCEEDINGS TILL COSTS PAID

Where the Court orders costs to be paid, or security to be given for costs by any party, the Court may if it thinks fit, order all proceedings by or on behalf of that party in the same suit or proceedings, or connected therewith, to be stayed until the costs are paid or security given accordingly, but such order shall not supersede the use of any other lawful method of enforcing payment.

RULE 9 – COST AGAINST COUNSEL

(1) Where a cause or matter is delayed due to the fault of a counsel, the Court shall award costs as it may deem fit and any costs so awarded shall be paid by the counsel. (2) A Court may order payment to be made to a counsel, assigned out of any money recovered by the applicant, or may charge in favour of the counsel, assigned on any property recovered by the applicant, such sum as circumstances may require.

RULE 10 – TAXATION OF COSTS

When the Court deems it to be impracticable to determine summarily the amount of any costs which it has adjudged or ordered to be paid, all questions relating thereto may either be determined upon by taxation by the Court itself or may be referred by the Court to a taxing master and be ascertained by him and approved by the Court.

RULE 11 – DISCRETION OF TAXING MASTER

Upon any taxation of costs, the taxing master may, in determining the remuneration to be allowed, have regard, subject to any rule of Court, to the skill, labour and responsibility involved.

RULE 12 – TAXATION

In taxation of costs between parties, nothing shall be allowed in respect of fees paid to the Court beyond what was necessary, having regard to the amount recovered on judgment.

RULE 13 – WHERE MORE THAN ONE-SIXTH OF AMOUNT OF BILL OF COSTS DEDUCED ON TAXATION

If upon the taxation of any bill of cost, more than one-sixth is deduced from the amount claimed, the Court may either make no order as to the costs of the taxation or may order the party who filed the bill of costs to pay to the other party or parties the costs of taxation.

RULE 14 – COSTS IN ACTION WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN INFERIOR COURT

Where a claimant is successful in any action which might have been brought by him in an inferior tribunal, the Court may take into account, the smaller costs which would have been involved to the parties to the action, if it had been taken in such inferior tribunal and may, in its discretion, grant to the successful claimant, modified costs or no costs and may grant to any other party such extra costs as the Court is satisfied, such other party has incurred by reason of the action being taken in the Court instead of in the inferior tribunal, unless the Court is of opinion that the action was one which for some special reasons it was proper to bring in the Court.


 Rules in ORDER 48 – APPLICATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CHAMBERS
RULE 1 – REPRESENTATION IN CHAMBERS

In any proceedings before a Judge in chambers, any party may, if he so desires, be represented by a legal practitioner.

RULE 2 – MATTER TO BE DISPOSED OF IN CHAMBERS

Unless the opposite party or his counsel objects, the Judge may on application, conduct any proceedings, except actual trial, in chambers and may also on application, adjourn any such proceedings from Court to chambers and vice versa.

RULE 3 – EVIDENCE UPON APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIANS AND FOR MAINTENANCE

Upon application for the appointment of guardians of infants and allowance for maintenance, the evidence shall show: (a) the ages of the infants; (b) the nature and amount of the infants’ fortunes and incomes; and (c) what relations the infants have. At any time during the proceedings under any judgment or order, the Judge may, if he deems fit, require a guardian to be appointed for any person under legal disability not adjudged a lunatic, who has been served with notice of such judgment or order.

RULE 4 – NOTES OF PROCEEDINGS IN CHAMBERS

Notes shall be kept of all proceedings in the Judges’ chambers with proper dates, so that all such proceedings in such cause or matter may appear consecutively and in chronological order, with a short statement of the questions or points decided or ruled at every hearing.

RULE 5 – DRAWING UP ANY ENTRY OF ORDERS MADE

Orders made in chambers shall, unless the Judge otherwise directs, be drawn up by the Registrar and signed by the Judge. Such orders shall be entered in the same manner as orders made in Court.

RULE 6 – COSTS

Subject to the provisions of the Law and of these Rules, the Costs of, and incident to all proceedings in chambers shall be at the discretion of the Judge.

RULE 7 – DECISIONS GIVEN IN CHAMBERS: HOW SET ASIDE OR VARIED

(1) Where any party to proceedings in chambers does not intend to accept the decision of the Judge in chambers as final, he shall forthwith request to have the summons adjourned into Court for argument. If such request is referred, the party may proceed by way of motion with notice in Court to discharge, set aside or vary the order made or the judgment given. (2) The notice of motion shall be filed not later than days after the drawing up of the order made in chambers unless the Court grants an extension of time on good and sufficient reasons being shown, and the motion shall be heard and determined by the Judge who has dealt with the matter in chambers unless this proves impossible or inconvenient owing to such Judge’s death or retirement or prolonged absence from Edo State. (3) This rule shall apply to decisions given by a Judge in chambers on appeal from the Chief Registrar under rule 4 of Order 39.


 Rules in ORDER 49 – FORECLOSURE AND REDEMPTION
RULE 1 – ORIGINATING SUMMONS FOR FORECLOSURE

Any mortgagee or mortgagor, whether legal or equitable, or any person entitled to or having property subject to a legal or equitable charge, or any person having the right to foreclose or redeem any mortgage, whether legal or equitable, may take out any originating summons, for such relief of the nature or kind as may by the summons be specified, and as the circumstances of the case may require, that is: (a) Payment of money secured by the mortgage or charge; (b) Sales; (c) Foreclosure; (d) Delivery of possession, whether before or after foreclosure to the mortgagee or person entitled to the charge, by the mortgagor or person having the property subject to the charge, or by any other person in, or alleged to be in possession of the property; (e) Redemption; (f) Reconveyance; and (g) Delivery of possession by the mortgagee.

RULE 2 – CIVIL FORMS 33, 34 AND 35

Orders for payment and for possession shall be in Form 33, 34 and 35 of these Rules, with such variations as the circumstances of the case may require, and the like Forms shall be used under corresponding circumstances in actions for the relief commenced by writ.

RULE 3 – SERVICE AND EXECUTION OF JUDGMENT

The Judge may give any special directions concerning the execution of the judgment, or the service thereof upon persons not parties to the cause or matter, as he deems fit.


 Rules in ORDER 50 – SUMMONS TO PROCEED
RULE 1 – BRINGING IN JUDGMENT, ETC.

Every judgment or order directing accounts or inquiries to be taken or made, shall be brought to a Judge by the party entitled to prosecute same within 10 days after such judgment or order shall have been entered or filed, and in default thereof, any other party to the cause or matter shall be at liberty to bring in the same, and such party shall have the prosecution of such judgment or order unless the Judge shall otherwise direct.

RULE 2 – SUMMONS TO PROCEED WITH ACCOUNTS AND INQUIRIES: DIRECTIONS

Upon a copy of the judgment or order being left, a summons shall be issued to proceed with the accounts or inquiries directed, and upon the return of such summons the Judge, if satisfied by proper evidence, that all necessary parties have been served with notice of the judgment or order, shall thereupon give directions as to the: (i) manner in which each of the accounts and inquiries is to be prosecuted; (ii) evidence to be adduced in support thereof; (iii) parties who are to attend on the several accounts and inquiries; and (iv) time within which each proceedings is to be taken and a day or days may be appointed for the further attendance of the parties, and all such directions may afterwards be varied by addition thereto or otherwise, as may be found necessary.

RULE 3 – SETTLING DEED WHERE PARTIES DIFFER

Where, by a judgment or order, a deed is directed to be settled by a Judge in case the parties differ, a summons to proceed shall be issued, and upon the return of the summons, the party entitled to prepare the draft deed shall be directed to deliver a copy thereof, within such time as the Judge shall deem fit, to the party entitled to object thereto, and the party so entitled to object shall be directed to deliver to the other party, a statement in writing of his objections, within 8 days after the delivery of such copy, and the proceedings shall be adjourned until after the expiration of the said period of 8 days

RULE 4 – WHERE SERVICE OF NOTICE OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER DISPENSED WITH

Where, upon the hearing of the summons to proceed, it appears to the Judge that by reason of absence, or for any other notice of sufficient cause, the service of notice of the judgment or order upon any party cannot be made, the Judge may if he shall deem fit, order any substituted service or notice by advertisement or otherwise in lieu of such service.

RULE 5 – STOPPAGE OF PROCEEDINGS WHERE ALL NECESSARY PARTIES HAVE NOT BEEN SERVED WITH NOTICE OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER

If on the hearing of the summons to proceed, it shall appear that all necessary parties are not parties to the action or have not been served with notice of the judgment or order, directions may be given for advertisement for creditors, and for leaving the accounts in chambers. Adjudication on creditors’ claims and the accounts are not to be proceeded with, and no other proceeding is to be taken, except for the purpose of ascertaining notice of the parties to be served, until all necessary parties shall have been served and until directions shall have been given as to the parties who are to attend the proceedings.

RULE 6 – DOCUMENTS, COPIES FOR USE

Copies, abstracts, extracts of or from accounts, deeds or other documents and pedigrees and concise statements shall, if directed, be supplied for the use of the Judge, and where so directed, copies shall be handed over to the other parties: Provided that no copies shall be made of deeds or documents where the originals can be brought in unless the Judge shall otherwise direct

RULE 7 – ENTRY IN SUMMONS TO PROCEED BOOK

At the time any summons to proceed is obtained, an entry thereof shall be made in the summons book, stating the date on which the summons is issued, the name of the cause or matter, and by what party, and shortly for what purpose such summons is obtained, and at what time such summons is returnable.


 Rules in ORDER 51 – SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS FOR POSSESSION OF LANDED PROPERTY OCCUPIED BY SQUATTERS OR WITHOUT THE OWNER’S CONSENT
RULE 1 – APPLICATION OF THIS ORDER

(1) This Order shall not apply where the person in occupation of land is: (a) a tenant; or (b) a tenant holding over after termination of his tenancy; or (c) a licensee of the owner or person entitled to possession; or (d) a person who had the consent of the predecessor-in-title of the person who is entitled to possession (2) Where a person claims possession of land which he alleges is occupied solely by persons other than those listed in sub rule 1, proceedings may be brought by originating summons in accordance with the provisions of this Order.

RULE 2 – PROCEEDINGS TO BE BROUGHT BY ORIGINATING SUMMONS: FORM 36

The originating summons shall be in Form 36 and no acknowledgment of service shall be required.

RULE 3 – AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT

The claimant shall file in support of the originating summons, an affidavit stating: (a) his interest in the land; (b) the circumstances in which the land has been occupied without licence or consent and in which his claim to possession arises; and (c) that he does not know the name of any person occupying the land who is not named in the summons.

RULE 4 – SERVICE OF ORIGINATING SUMMONS

(1) Where any person in occupation of the land is named in the originating summons, the summons together with a copy of the affidavit shall be served on him: (a) personally or in accordance with Order 7 rule 1 sub-rule 2; or (b) by leaving a copy of the summons and of the affidavit, or sending them to him at the premises; or (c) in such other manner as the Judge may direct. (2) The summons shall, in addition to being served on the named defendants, if any, in accordance with sub-rule 1 of this rule be served, unless the Judge otherwise directs, by: (a) affixing a copy of the summons and a copy of the affidavit to the main d00r or other conspicuous part of the premises; and (b) if practicable, inserting through the letter box at the premises, a copy of the summons and a copy of the affidavit enclosed in a sealed envelope addressed to “the occupiers”. (3) Every copy of an originating summons for service under sub-rule 1 or 2 of this rule, shall be sealed with the seal of the Court out of which the summons was issued.

RULE 5 – APPLICATION BY OCCUPIER TO BE MADE A PARTY

Without prejudice to rule 16 of Order 13, any person not named as a defendant who is in occupation of the land and wishes to be heard in the question whether an order for possession should be made, may apply at any stage of the proceedings to be joined as a defendant.

RULE 6 – ORDER FOR POSSESSION: FORM 37

(1) An order for possession in proceedings under this Order shall be in Form 37 with such variations as circumstances may require. Form 37 (2) The Judge may forthwith, order a writ of possession to be issued. (3) Nothing in this Order shall prevent the Judge from ordering possession to be given on a specified date, in the exercise of any power which could have been exercised, if possession had been claimed in an action begun by writ.

RULE 7 – WRIT OF POSSESSION

(1) No writ of possession to enforce an order for possession under this Order, shall be issued after the expiration of 3 months from the date of the order without the leave of the Judge. (2) The application for leave may be made ex-parte unless the Judge otherwise directs.

RULE 8 – SETTING ASIDE OF ORDER

(1) The Judge may, on such terms as he deems fit, set aside or vary any order made in the proceedings under this Order. (2) In this Order, “landed property” means land with or without building thereon.


 Rules in ORDER 52 – STAY OF EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL TO THE COURT OF APPEAL
RULE 1 – STAY OF EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL

Where any application is made to the Court for a stay of execution or of proceedings under any judgment or decision appealed from, such application shall be made by notice of motion supported by affidavit setting forth the grounds upon which a stay of execution or of proceedings is sought.

RULE 2 – COURT MAY GRANT OR REFUSE ORDER FOR STAY

(1) An order for stay may be made subject to such conditions as shall appear just, including the deposit in Court, of any money adjudged due to any party in the judgment appealed from. (2) Where a Judge has struck out an application for stay, no further application for stay of execution shall be made in the same matter. (3) Where parties in an application referred to in rule 1 above have exchanged written briefs and the Judge has set the application down for hearing, no request for adjournment by any of the parties shall be entertained. When the application is called and the parties have been duly served with the notice of hearing, but if any patty or any legal practitioner appearing for him does not appear to present oral argument even though briefs have been filed by all the parties concerned in the application, the application will be treated as having been duly argued.

RULE 3 – FORMAL ORDER TO BE DRAWN UP

Where any application is made to the Court under this Order, a formal order shall be drawn up embodying the terms of the decision of the Court and bearing the date upon which the order is made.


 Rules in ORDER 53 – GRANT OF PROBATE OR ADMINISTRATION IN GENERAL
RULE 1 – PETITION TO BE MADE TO PROBATE REGISTRAR

(1) Subject to the provisions of rules 39 and 40, when any person subject to the jurisdiction of the Court dies, all petitions for the granting of any letters of administration of the estate of the deceased person, with or without a Will attached, and all applications on other matters connected therewith, shall be made to the Probate Registrar of the Court at Benin City. (2) In regard to any such application, the Chief Judge shall have power to request the Court of any Judicial Division to take measures and make such orders as may appear necessary or expedient for the interim preservation of the property of the deceased within such Judicial Division, for the discovery or preservation of the Will of the deceased or for any other purpose connected with the duties of the Court under this Order, and every Court shall carry out any such request as far as practicable, and report to the Chief Judge. (3) No grant of administration with the Will annexed, shall be issued within seven days of the death of the deceased; and no grant of administration (not with the Will annexed) shall be issued within fourteen days of such death.

RULE 2 – PRESERVATION OF PROPERTY

The Court shall, when the circumstances of the case appear to require forthwith on the death of a person, or as soon after, appoint and authorise an officer of the Court, or some other fit person, to take possession of his property within its jurisdiction, or put it under seal, and so keep it until it can be dealt with according to law.

RULE 3 – UNAUTHORISED PERSONS INTERMEDDLING WITH PROPERTY

If any person, other than the person named executor or administrator, or an officer of the Court or person authorised by the Court, takes possession of and administers or otherwise deals with the property of any deceased person, he shall, besides the other liabilities he may incur, be liable to such fine not exceeding N50,000.00 (fifty thousand naira) as the Court, having regard to the condition of the person so interfering with the property and the other circumstances of the case, may think fit to impose.

RULE 4 – PRODUCTION OF TESTAMENTARY PAPERS

(1) Any person having in his possession or under his control, any paper or writing of any person deceased, being or purporting to be testamentary, shall forthwith deliver the original to the Probate Registrar of the Court. (2) If any person fails to do so for fourteen days after having had knowledge of the death of the deceased, he shall be liable to such fine not exceeding N50,000.00 (fifty thousand naira) as the Court having regard to the condition of such person so in default and the other circumstances of the case, thinks fit to impose.

RULE 5 – COURT MAY ORDER PRODUCTION

Where it appears that any paper of the deceased, being or purporting to be testamentary, is in the possession of, or under the control of any person, the Court may in a summary way, whether a suit or proceedings respecting probate or administration is pending or not, order him to produce the paper and bring it into Court.

RULE 6 – EXAMINATION RESPECTING PAPERS

Where it appears that there are reasonable grounds for believing that any person has knowledge of any paper being or purporting to be testamentary, (although it is not shown that the paper is in his possession or under his control), the Court may in a summary way, whether a suit or proceedings respecting probate or administration is pending or not, order that he may be examined in respect of same in Court, or on interrogatories, and that he attends for that purpose, and after examination, that he produces the paper and brings it into Court.

RULE 7 – NOTICE TO EXECUTOR TO COME IN AND PROVE

The Court may of its own motion, or on the application of any person claiming an interest under a Will, give notice to the executors (if any) therein named, to come in and prove the Will, or to renounce probate, and they, or some or one of them, shall, within (21) twenty-one days after notice, come in and prove or renounce accordingly.

RULE 8 – LIABILITY OF EXECUTOR NEGLECTING TO APPLY FOR PROBATE

If any person named executor in the Will of the deceased, takes possession and administers or otherwise deals with any part of the property of the deceased, and does not apply for probate within one month after the death, or after the termination of any suit or dispute respecting probate or administration, he may independently of any other liability, be deemed guilty of a contempt of Court, and shall be liable to such fine, not exceeding N50,000.00 (fifty thousand naira), as the Court thinks fit to impose.

RULE 9 – IDENTITY

The Court shall require evidence, in addition to that offered by the applicant, where additional evidence in that behalf seems to the Court necessary or desirable, in regard to the identity of the deceased or of the applicant or in regard to the relationship of the applicant to the deceased, or in regard to any persons in existence with a right equal or prior to that of the applicant to the grant of probate or administration sought by the applicant, or in regard to any other matter which may be considered by the Court relevant to the question whether the applicant is the proper person to whom the grant should be made: Provided that the Court may refuse the grant unless the applicant produces the required evidence on these points or any of them as required by the Court.

RULE 10 – COURT MAY REFUSE GRANT UNTIL ALL PERSONS INTERESTED ARE GIVEN DUE NOTICE

Where it appears to the Court that some person or persons other than the applicant may have at least an equal right with the applicant to the grant sought, the Court may refuse the grant until due notice of the application has been given to such other person or persons and an opportunity given for such person or persons to be heard in regard to the application: Provided that the Court may in its discretion refuse the grant unless and until all persons entitled to the grant in priority to the applicant, shall have expressly renounced their prior right.

RULE 11 – VALUE OF PROPERTY

Every applicant for a grant of letters of administration shall file in the Court, a true declaration of all personal property of the deceased and the value thereof: Provided that for the purpose of the fees payable on letters of administration, the value of the property in respect of which the grant is made shall be deemed not to include: (a) any gratuity payable by the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, or the Government of a State, to the property in respect of which the grant is made; (b) any sum of money payable to an estate from a Provident Fund established under the provisions of any written law.

RULE 12 – ANSWERS REQUIRED BEFORE GRANT

(1) In no case shall the Court issue letters of administration until all inquiries which the Court deems fit to institute have been answered to its satisfaction. (2) The Court shall, however, afford as great a facility for the obtaining of letters of administration as is consistent with due regard to the prevention of error and fraud.

RULE 13 – NOTICE TO PROHIBIT GRANT

A notice to prohibit a grant of administration may be filed in the Court.

RULE 14 – EFFECT OF NOTICE

(1) The notice shall remain in force three months only from the day of filing, but it may be renewed from time to time. (2) The notice shall not affect a grant made on the day on which the notice is filed. (3) The person filing the notice shall be warned in writing delivered at the place mentioned in the notice as his address. (4) Notices in the nature of citation shall be given in such manner as the Court directs.

RULE 15 – FORM OF SUITS

Suits respecting administration shall be instituted and carried on as nearly as may be in the like manner and subject to the same rules of procedures suits in respect of ordinary claims.

RULE 16 – TESTATOR MAY DEPOSIT WILL

Any person may, in his lifetime, deposit for safe custody in the Court at Benin City, his own will, sealed up under his own seal and the seal of the Court.

RULE 17 – CUSTODY OF WILLS OF WHICH PROBATE GRANTED

(1) Every original Will, of which probate or administration with Will annexed is granted, shall be filed and kept in the Probate Registry, in such manner as to secure at once the due preservation and convenient inspection of same. (2) A copy of every such Will, and of the probate or administration, shall be preserved in a book kept for the purpose in the Registry.

RULE 18 – WILL NOT GIVEN OUT WITHOUT ORDER OF COURT

(1) No original Will shall be delivered out for any purpose without the direction in writing of the Court where the Will is filed. (2) A certified transcript, under the seal of the Court of the probate or administration with the Will annexed may be obtained from the Court.

RULE 19 – EXAMINATION OF WILL AS TO ITS EXECUTION

(1) On receiving an application for administration with Will annexed, the Court shall inspect the Will, and see whether it appears to be signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence, and by his direction, and to be subscribed by two witnesses according to the enactments relative thereto, and shall not proceed further if the Will does not appear to be so signed and subscribed. (2) If the Will appears to be so signed and subscribed, the Court shall then refer to the attestation clause (if any), and consider whether the wording thereof states the Will to have been, in fact, executed in accordance with those enactments.

RULE 20 – PROOF OF EXECUTION WHERE ATTESTATION CLAUSE IS DEFECTIVE

(1) If there is no attestation clause, or if the attestation clause is insufficient, the Court shall require an affidavit from at least one of the subscribing witnesses, if either of them is living, to prove that the Will was, in fact executed in accordance with those enactments. (2) The affidavit shall be engrossed and form part of the probate, so that the probate may be a complete document on the face of it.

RULE 21 – WHERE WILL WAS NOT EXECUTED ACCORDING TO LAW

If on perusal of the affidavit, it appears that the Will was not, in fact, executed in accordance with those enactments, the Court shall refuse probate.

RULE 22 – EVIDENCE ON FAILURE OF ATTESTING WITNESSES

If both the subscribing witnesses are dead, or if from other circumstances, such an affidavit cannot be obtained from either of them, resort for such an affidavit shall be had to other persons (if any) present at the execution of the Will; but if no such affidavit can be obtained, proof shall be required of that fact, and of the handwriting of the deceased and of the subscribing witnesses and also of any circumstances raising a presumption in favour of the due execution of the Will.

RULE 23 – WILL OF BLIND OR ILLITERATE TESTATOR

Where the testator is blind or illiterate, the Court shall not grant administration with the Will annexed, unless the Court is first satisfied, by proof or by what appears on the face of the Will, that the Will was read over to the deceased before its execution, or that he had at the time knowledge of its contents.

RULE 24 – INTERLINEATIONS, ERASURES, OBLITERATIONS

(1) The Court, on being satisfied that the Will was duly executed, shall carefully inspect it to see whether there are any interlineations or alterations, or erasures, if obliterations appearing in it and requiring to be accounted for. (2) Interlineations, alterations, erasures, and obliterations are invalid unless they existed in the Will at the time of its execution or unless, if made afterwards, they have been executed and attested in the mode required by the said enactments; or unless they have been made invalid by the re-execution of the Will, or by the subsequent execution of some codicil thereto. (3) Where interlineations, alterations, erasures, or obliterations appear in the Will (unless, duly executed or recited in or otherwise identified by the attestation clause), an affidavit in proof of their having existed in the Will before its execution, shall be filed. (4) If so, satisfactory evidence is adduced respecting the time when an erasure or obliteration was made, and the words erased or obliterated are not entirely defaced, and can, on inspection of the Will, be ascertained, they shall form part of the probate. (5) Where any words have been erased which might have been of importance, an affidavit shall be required.

RULE 25 – DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO IN A WILL: OR ANNEXED OR ATTACHED

(1) Where a Will contains a reference to any document of such a nature as to raise the questions whether it ought or ought not to form a constituent part of the Will, the Court shall require the production of the document, with a view to ascertaining whether or not it is entitled to probate; and if it is not produced, a satisfactory account of its non-production shall be proved. (2) A document cannot form part of a Will unless it was in existence at the time when the Will was executed. (3) If there are vestiges of sealing wax or wafers, or other marks on the Will, leading to the inference that some documents have been at sometime annexed or attached thereto, a satisfactory account of them shall be proved, or the production of the document shall be required, and if it is not produced, a satisfactory account of its nonproduction shall be proved.

RULE 26 – EXECUTOR DYING WITHOUT PROVING OR NOT APPEARING

Where a person appointed executor in a Will survives the testator, but either dies without having taken probate, or having been called on by the court to take probate; does not appear, his right in respect of the executorships wholly ceases; and without further renunciation, the representation to the testator and the administration of his property may go and be committed as if that person had not been appointed executor.

RULE 27 – MARKING OF WILL OR COPY SWORN TO

(1) Every Will or copy of a Will to which an administrator with the Will annexed is sworn, shall be marked by the executor or administrator and by the person before whom he is sworn. (2) Codicils The provisions respecting Wills apply equally to codicils.

RULE 28 – VIVA VOCE EXAMINATION OF PERSONS MAKING AFFIDAVITS

(1) In every case where evidence is directed or allowed to be given by affidavit, the Court may require the personal attendance of the deponent, if within the jurisdiction, before the Court, to be examined viva voce respecting the matter of his affidavit. (2) The examination may take place before any affidavit has been sworn or prepared, if the Court thinks fit.

RULE 29 – FORM OF ADMINISTRATION NOT WITH WILL ANNEXED

(1) The Court in granting letters of administration, shall proceed as far as may be as in cases of probate. (2) The Court shall ascertain the time and place of the deceased’s death, and the value of the property to be covered by the administration.

RULE 30 – ADMINISTRATION BOND

(1) The person to whom administration is granted shall give a bond, with two or more responsible sureties, to the Probate Registrar of the Court, conditioned for duly collecting, getting in and administering the personal property of the deceased, such sureties to be to the satisfaction of the Probate Registrar. (2) The Court may, if it thinks fit, take one surety only. (3) The bond shall be in a penalty of double the amount under which the personal estate of the deceased is sworn, unless the Court, in any case, thinks it expedient to reduce the amount. (4) The Court may also in any case, direct that more bonds than one shall be given, so as to limit the liability of any surety to such amount as the Court thinks reasonable.

RULE 31 – ASSIGNMENT OF BOND

The Probate Registrar may, on being satisfied’ that the condition of the bond has been broken, assign the same to some person, and that person may thereupon sue on the bond in his own name as if it had been originally given to him instead of the Probate Registrar, and may recover thereon, as trustee for persons interested, the full amount recoverable in respect of any breach of the bond.

RULE 32 – ADMINISTRATION SUMMONS

Any person claiming to be a creditor or legatee, or the next-of-kin, or one of the next-of-kin of a deceased, may apply for and obtain a summons from the Court requiring the executor or administrator (as the case may be) of the deceased to attend before the Court, and show cause why an order for the administration of the property of the deceased should not be made.

RULE 33 – ORDER FOR ADMINISTRATION

(1) On proof of service of the summons or on appearance of the executor or administrator, and on proof of all such other things (if any) as the Court may direct, the Court may, if it thinks fit, make an order for the administration of the property of the deceased. (2) The Court shall have discretionary power to make or refuse any such order or to give any special directions respecting the carriage or execution of it, and in the case of applications for such an order by two or more different persons or classes of persons, to grant same to such one or more of the claimants or classes of claimants, as the Court thinks fit. (3) If the Court thinks fit, the carriage of the order may subsequently be given to such person, and on such terms, as the Court thinks fit.

RULE 34 – ORDERS RELATING TO PROPERTY

On making such an order, or at any time afterwards, the Court may, if it thinks fit, make any further or other order which may appear requisite to secure the proper collection, recovery for safe keeping and disposal of the property or any part thereof.

RULE 35 – ADMINISTRATION MAY BE GRANTED TO OFFICER

In a case of intestacy, where the special circumstances of the case appear to the Court so to require, the Court may, if it thinks fit, on the application of any person having interest in the estate of the deceased, or of its own motion, grant letters of administration to an officer of the Court, to a consular officer, or to a person in the service of the Government.

RULE 36 – OFFICER TO ACT UNDER DIRECTION OF COURT

(1) The officer or person so appointed, shall act under the direction of the Court, and shall be indemnified thereby. (2) The Court shall require and compel him to file in the Court, his accounts of his administration at intervals not exceeding three months.

RULE 37 – COURT MAY APPOINT PERSONS TO BE ADMINISTRATOR

Where a person has died intestate as to his personal estate or leaving a Will affecting personal estate, but without having appointed an executor thereof willing and competent to take probate, or where the executor shall at the time of the death of such person, be resident out of the jurisdiction, and it shall appear to the Court to be necessary or convenient in any such case to appoint some person to be administrator of the personal estate of the deceased or of any part thereof, the Court may appoint such person as it shall think fit, to be such administrator upon his giving such security, if any, as the Court shall direct, and every such administrator may be limited as the Court shall think fit.

RULE 38 – REMUNERATION OF ADMINISTRATOR

The Court may direct that any administrator, (with or without the Will annexed), shall receive out of the personal and real estate of the deceased, such reasonable remuneration as the Court shall think fit, not exceeding a fee of N50,000.00 (fifty thousand naira) and in addition thereto, a sum not exceeding five per centum on the amount of the realised property, or when not converted into money, on the value of the property duly administered and accounted for by him: Provided that where the Court shall be satisfied that by reason of exceptional circumstances, the administration of the property has required an extraordinary amount of labour to be bestowed on it, the Court may allow, in respect of such property, a higher rate of remuneration.

RULE 39 – SECURING AND COLLECTION OF ESTATE

(1) Where any citizen of any country other than Nigeria, dies within the jurisdiction without leaving within the jurisdiction, widow or next-of-kin, then, if any such person dies within a Government station or had his usual place of residence therein, the Magistrate having jurisdiction within such station, or if he does not die within a Government station, or had not his usual place of residence therein, then the Local Government Secretary in charge of the station in which he died, shall collect and secure all monies and other property belonging to the deceased, and shall then request the Secretary to the Government to inform the nearest consular officer of such country, of the death of the deceased, and transmit to him a list of the money and property of the deceased. (2) In the case last mentioned in which it is declared that a Local Government Secretary shall collect and secure all money and other property of the deceased, such Local Government Security may appoint any administrative officer attached to his local government or, with his consent, any magistrate or any administrative officer attached to any other Local Government to act in his place.

RULE 40 – APPLICATION BY CONSULAR OFFICER OR PERSON AUTHOURISED BY HIM TO ADMINISTER ESTATE

Application may be made to the Court by any such consular officer, or by any person authorised by him in writing and under the consular seal, for leave to administer the estate of the deceased, and the Court may make such order as to security for payment of debts and the method of administration as the Court shall think fit, and vary such order when and so often as is expedient.

RULE 41 – ACCOUNTS TO BE FILED

(1) Every person to whom a grant of probate or letters of administration shall have been made, and every administrator appointed by the Court shall, if called upon by the Court so to do, file in Court the accounts of his administration, and shall thereafter file such further periodic accounts as the Court may direct until the completion of the administration. (2) Any such executor or administrator who fails within any such period to file his accounts as aforesaid, shall be liable to such penalty not exceeding N1,000.00 (one thousand naira) as the Court may think fit to impose. Every such fine shall, on non-payment be enforceable by distress, and failing sufficient distress, by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months. (3) When an account is filed in Court under this rule, the Court shall scrutinise such account and if it appears to the Court that by reason of improper unvouched or unjustifiable entries or otherwise, such account is not a full and proper account, the Court may give written notice to the person filing the account, to remedy such defects as there may be within such time as the Court may seem reasonable for the purpose; and on failure to remedy such defects within such time, the person who filed such defective account shall be deemed to have failed to file an account within the meaning of this rule and proceedings may be taken against such person accordingly. (4) The Court may, on the motion of any party interested, or of its own motion, summon any executor or administrator failing as aforesaid, to show cause why he should not be punished. (5) The Court may for good cause shown, extend the time for such filing of accounts. (6) Any executor or administrator who has been granted an extension of time to file such accounts, and who fails within such extended time to file such accounts, shall be liable to the penalty set out above, and the procedure for bringing him before the Court shall be as set out above. (7) It is the duty of the Probate Registrar to bring to the notice of the Court, the fact that any executor or administrator has failed to file his accounts as required by this rule. (8) Such accounts shall be open free of charge to the inspection of all persons satisfying the Probate Registrar that they are interested in the administration. (9) In this rule, the word “accounts” shall mean and include an inventory, an account of the administration, the vouchers in the hands of the executor or administrator relating thereto, and an affidavit in verification.

RULE 42 – DUTIES AND POWERS TO BE PERFORMED AND EXERCISED BY PROBATE REGISTRAR

The duties imposed and powers conferred upon the Court by rules 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 31, 38, 40 and 4(1), (3), (5), (7) and (8) shall be performed and exercised by the Probate Registrar on behalf of the Court, subject to any directions which the Chief Judge may give, restricting or enlarging this delegation to the Probate Registrar of the duties and powers of the Court under this Order: Provided always that the Court shall have power, either of its own motion, or on the application of any person interested, to review any exercise by the Probate Registrar of the powers delegated to him. On such review, the Court shall have power to cancel anything which may have been done by the Probate Registrar in such exercise of his delegated powers or otherwise, and make such order on the premise as the Court may seem just.

RULE 43 – COURT MAY REFUSE APPLICATION

The Court may refuse to entertain any application under the last preceding rule, if it considers that there has been unreasonable delay by the applicant in making his application.

RULE 44 – GRANT TO BE SIGNED BY PROBATE REGISTRAR

The grant of letters of administration under this Order shall be signed by the Probate Registrar on behalf of the Court.


 Rules in ORDER 54 – PROBATE (NON-CONTENTIOUS) PROCEDURE
RULE 1 – PRODUCTION OF TESTAMENTARY PAPERS

Any person having in his possession or under his control, any paper or writing of any deceased person, being or purporting to be testamentary, shall forthwith deliver the original to the Probate Registrar of the Court. If any person fails to do so for fourteen days after having had knowledge of the death of the deceased, he shall be liable to such fine not exceeding N50,000.00 (fifty thousand naira) as the Court, having regard to the condition of such person so in default and the other circumstances of the case, thinks fit to impose.

RULE 2 – COURT MAY ORDER PRODUCTION

Where it appears that any paper of the deceased, being or purporting to be testamentary, is in the possession, or under the control of any person, the Court may in a summary way, whether a suit or proceedings respecting probate or administration is pending or not, order him to produce the paper and bring it into Court.

RULE 3 – EXAMINATION RESPECTING PAPER

Where it appears that there are reasonable grounds for believing that any person has knowledge of any paper being or purporting to be testamentary (although it is not shown that the paper is in his possession or under his control), the Court may in a summary way, whether a suit or proceedings for probate or administration is pending or not, order that he may be examined in respect of same in Court, or on interrogatories, and that he attends for that purpose, and after examination that he produces the paper and brings it into Court.

RULE 4 – NOTICE TO EXECUTOR TO COME IN AND PROVE

The Court may of its own motion, or on the application of any person claiming an interest under a Will, give notice to the executors (if any) therein named, to come in and prove the Will, or to renounce probate, and they, or one of them, shall, within fourteen days after notice, come in and prove or renounce accordingly.

RULE 5 – LIABILITY OF EXECUTOR TO COME IN AND PROVE

If any person named executor in the Will of the deceased takes possession and administers or otherwise deals with any part of the property of the deceased, and does not apply for probate within one month after the death, or after the termination of any suit or dispute respecting probate or administration, he may, independently of any other liability, be deemed guilty of a contempt of Court, and shall be liable to such fine, not exceeding N50,000.00 (fifty thousand naira), as the Court thinks fit to impose.

RULE 6 – PETITION TO BE MADE TO PROBATE REGISTRAR

(1) When any person subject to the jurisdiction of the Court dies, all petitions for the grant of probate of his Will and all applications on other matters connected with it, shall be made to the Probate Registrar of the Court at Benin City. (2) In regard to any such application, the Chief Judge shall have power to request the Court of any Judicial Division, to take measures and make such order as may appear necessary or expedient for the interim preservation of the property of the deceased within such Judicial Division, for the discovery or preservation of the Will of the deceased or for any other purposes connected with the duties of the Court under this Order, and every Court shall carry out any such request as far as practicable and report to the Chief Judge.

RULE 7 – APPLICATION FOR GRANTS THROUGH LEGAL PRACTITIONERS

(1) A person applying for a grant through a legal practitioner, may apply otherwise than by post at the Probate Registry. (2) Every legal practitioner through whom an application for a grant is made, shall give the address of his place of business within jurisdiction.

RULE 8 – PERSONAL APPLICATIONS

(1) A personal applicant may apply for a grant otherwise than by post at the Probate Registry. (2) A personal applicant may not apply through an agent, whether paid or unpaid, and may not be attended by any person acting or appearing to act as his adviser. (3) No personal application shall be received or proceeded with if: (a) it becomes necessary to bring the matter before the Court on motion or by action. (b) an application has already been made by a legal practitioner on behalf of the applicant and has not been withdrawn. (c) the Registrar otherwise directs. (4) After a Will has been deposited in the Registry by a personal applicant, it may not be delivered to the applicant or to any other person unless in special circumstances the Registrar so directs. (5) A personal applicant shall produce a certificate of the death of the deceased or such other evidence of the death as the Registrar may approve. (6) A personal applicant shall supply all information necessary to enable the papers leading to the grant to be prepared in the Registry, or may himself prepare such papers and lodge them unsworn. (7) Unless the Registrar otherwise directs, every oath, affidavit or guarantee required of a personal application shall be sworn or executed by all the deponents or sureties before an authorized officer.

RULE 9 – DUTY OF REGISTRAR ON RECEIVING APPLICATION FOR GRANT

(1) The Registrar shall not allow any grant to be issued until all inquiries which he may deem fit to make have been answered to his satisfaction. (2) The Registrar may require proof of the identity of the deceased or of the applicant for the grant beyond that contained in the oath. (3) No grant of probate or of administration with the Will annexed shall be issued within seven days of the death of the deceased.

RULE 10 – OATH IN SUPPORT OF GRANT

(1) Every application for a grant shall be supported by an oath in the form applicable to the circumstances of the case, which shall be contained in any affidavit sworn by the applicant and by such other persons as the Registrar may require. (2) Unless otherwise directed by the Registrar, the oath shall state where the deceased died domiciled.

RULE 11 – GRANT IN ADDITIONAL NAME

Where it is necessary to describe the deceased in a grant by some name in addition to his true name, the applicant shall state in the oath, the true name of the deceased and shall depose that some part of the estate, specifying it, was held in the other name, or as to any other reason that there may be for the inclusion of the other name in the grant.

RULE 12 – MARKING OF WILLS

Every Will in respect of which an application for a grant is made, shall be marked by the signatures of the applicants and the person before whom the oath is sworn, and shall be exhibited to any affidavit which may be required under this Order as to the validity, terms, condition or date of execution of the Will: Provided that where the Registrar is satisfied that compliance with this rule might result in the loss of the Will, he may allow a photostat copy thereof to be marked or exhibited in lieu of the original document.

RULE 13 – ENGROSSMENT FOR PURPOSES OF RECORD

(1) Where the Registrar considers that in any particular case, a photostat copy of the original Will would not be satisfactory for purposes of record, he may require an engrossment suitable for photostat reproduction to be lodged. (2) Where a Will contains alterations which are not admissible to proof, there shall be lodged an engrossment of the Will in the form in which it is to be proved. (3) Any engrossment lodged under this rule shall reproduce the punctuation, spacing and division into paragraphs of the Will and, if it is one to which sub-rule (2) of this rule applies, it shall be made book wise on durable paper following continuously from page to page. (4) Where any pencil writing appears on a Will, there shall be lodged a copy of the Will or of the pages or sheets containing the pencil writing, in which there shall be underlined in red ink those portions which appear in pencil in the original.

RULE 14 – EVIDENCE AS TO DUE EXECUTION OF WILL

(1) Where a Will contains no attestation clause or the attestation clause is insufficient or where it appears to the Registrar that there is some doubt about the due execution of the Will, he shall before admitting it to proof, require an affidavit as to due execution from one or more of the attesting witnesses or, if no attesting witness is conveniently available, from any other person who was present at the time the Will was executed. (2) If no affidavit can be obtained in accordance with the last foregoing paragraph, the Registrar may, if he thinks fit, having regard to the desirability of protecting the interest of any person who may be prejudiced by the Will, accept evidence on affidavit from any person he may think fit, to show that the signature on the Will is the handwriting of the deceased, or of any other matter which may raise a presumption in favour of the due execution of the Will. (3) If the Registrar, after considering the evidence: (a) is satisfied that the Will was not duly executed, he shall refuse probate and shall mark the Will accordingly. (b) is doubtful whether the Will was duly executed, he may refer the matter to the Court on motion.

RULE 15 – EXECUTION OF WILL OF BLIND OR ILLITERATE TESTATOR

Before admitting to proof, a Will which appears to have been signed by a blind or illiterate testator or by another person by direction of the testator, or which for any other reason gives rise to doubt as to the testator having had knowledge of the contents of the Will at the time of its execution, the Registrar shall satisfy himself that the testator had such knowledge.

RULE 16 – EVIDENCE AS TO TERMS, CONDITIONS AND DATE OF EXECUTION OF WILL

(1) Where there appears in a Will any obliteration, interlineations, or other alteration which is not authenticated in the manner prescribed by law, or by the re-execution of the Will or by the execution of a codicil, the Registrar shall require evidence to show whether the alteration was present at the time the Will was executed and shall give directions as to the form in which the Will is to be proved: Provided that this sub-rule shall not apply to any alteration which appears to the Registrar to be of no practical importance. (2) If from any mark on the Will, it appears to the Registrar that some other document has been attached to the Will, or if a Will contains any reference to another document in such terms as to suggest that it ought to be incorporated in the Will, the Registrar may require the document to be produced and may call for such evidence in regard to the attaching or incorporation of the document as he may think fit. (3) Where there is doubt as to the date on which a Will was executed, the Registrar may require such evidence as he thinks necessary to establish the date.

RULE 17 – ATTEMPTED REVOCATION OF WILL

Any appearance of attempted revocation of a Will by burning, tearing or otherwise, and every other circumstance leading to a presumption of revocation by the testator, shall be accounted for, to the Registrar’s satisfaction.

RULE 18 – AFFIDAVIT AS TO DUE EXECUTION, TERMS, ETC, OF WILL

The Registrar may require an affidavit from any person he may think fit, for the purpose of satisfying himself as to any of the matters referred to in rules 15, 16, and 17 and in any such affidavit sworn by an attesting witness or other person present at the time of the execution of a Will, the deponent shall depose to the manner in which the Will was executed.

RULE 19 – WILLS OF PERSONS ON MILITARY SERVICE AND SEAMEN

If it appears to the Registrar that there is prima facie evidence that a Will is one to which Section 9 of the Wills Act, 1837, or any provision of the equivalent enactment in force in the State applies, the Will may be admitted to proof, if the Registrar is satisfied that it was made by the testator in accordance with the provisions of that section or enactment, as the case may be.

RULE 20 – EVIDENCE OF FOREIGN LAW

Where evidence as to law of any country or territory outside the State is required on any application for a grant, the Registrar may accept an affidavit from any person whom, having regard to the particulars of his knowledge or experience given in the affidavit, he regards as suitably qualified to give expert evidence of the law in question.

RULE 21 – ORDER OF PRIORITY FOR GRANT WHERE DECEASED LEFT A WILL

Where the deceased died after the commencement of this Order, the person or persons entitled to a grant of probate or administration with the Will annexed, shall be determined in accordance with the following order of priority: (1) The executor; (2) Any residuary legatee or devisee holding in trust for any other person; (3) Any residuary legatee or devisee for life; (4) The ultimate residuary legatee or devisee, including one entitled on the happening of any contingency, or where the residue is not wholly disposed of by the Will, any person entitled to share in the residue not so disposed of, or the personal representative of any such person: Provided that- (a) unless the Registrar otherwise directs, a residuary legatee or devisee whose legacy or devise is vested in interest, shall be preferred to one entitled on the happening of a contingency; and (b) where the residue is not in terms wholly disposed of, the Registrar may, if he is satisfied that the testator has nevertheless disposed of the whole or substantially the whole of the estate as ascertained at the time of the application for the grant, allow a grant to be made (subject however to rule 53) to any legatee or devisee entitled to, or to a share in the estate so disposed of, without regard to the persons entitled to share in any residue not disposed of by the Will; (5) Any specific legatee or devisee or any creditor or subject to sub-rule (3) of rule 44, the personal representative of any such person or, where the estate is not wholly disposed of by Will, any person who, notwithstanding that the amount of the estate is such that he has no immediate beneficial interest therein, may have a beneficial interest in the event of an accretion thereto; (6) Any specific legatee or devisee entitled on the happening of any contingency, or any person having no interest under the Will of the deceased who would have been entitled to a grant if the deceased had died wholly intestate.

RULE 22 – GRANT TO ATTESTING WITNESSES, ETC.

Where a gift to any person fails by reason of the fact that he is an attesting witness or the spouse of an attesting witness, such person shall not have any right to a grant as a beneficiary named in the Will, without prejudice to his right to a grant in any other capacity.

RULE 23 – VALUE OF PROPERTY

Every applicant for a grant of probate or letter of administration with the Will attached, shall file in the Court a true declaration of all the personal property of the deceased and the value thereof: Provided that for the purpose of the fees payable on probate and such letters of administration, the value of the property in respect of which the grant is made shall be deemed not to include- (a) any gratuity payable by the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, or the Government of a State to the estate of any person formerly employed by either of such Governments or by a Statutory Corporation; and (b) any sum of money payable to an estate from a provident fund established under the provisions of any written law.

RULE 24 – ANSWERS REQUIRED BEFORE GRANT

In no case, shall the Court issue probate or letters of administration with the Will attached until all inquiries which the Court deems fit to institute, have been answered to its satisfaction. The Court shall, however, afford as great, a facility for the obtaining of probate or such letters of administration as is consistent with due regard to the prevention of error and fraud.

RULE 25 – NOTICE TO PROHIBIT GRANT

A notice to prohibit a grant of probate or administration with the Will attached, may be filed in the Court.

RULE 26 – EFFECT OF NOTICE

(1) The notice shall remain in force three months only from the day of filing, but it may be renewed from time to time. The notice shall not affect a grant made on the day on which the notice is filed. The person filing the notice shall be warned in writing, delivered at the place mentioned in the notice as his address. (2) Citations Notices in the nature of citations shall be given in such manner as the Court directs.

RULE 27 – FORM OF SUITS

Suits respecting probate or administration shall be instituted and carried on as nearly as may be in the like manner and subject to the same rules of procedure as suits in respect of ordinary claims.

RULE 28 – TESTATOR MAY DEPOSIT WILL

Any person may, in his lifetime, deposit for safe custody in the Court at Benin City his own Will, sealed up under his own seal and the seal of the Court.

RULE 29 – CUSTODY OF WILLS OF WHICH PROBATE IS GRANTED

Every original Will, of which probate or administration with Will annexed is granted, shall be filed and kept in the probate registry, in such manner as to secure at once, the due preservation and convenient inspection of same. A copy of every such Will, and of the probate or administration, shall be preserved in a book kept for the purpose in the registry.

RULE 30 – WILL NOT GIVEN OUT WITHOUT ORDER OF COURT

No original Will shall be delivered out for any purpose without the direction in writing of the Court where the Will is filed. A certified transcript, under the seal of the Court of the Probate or Administration with the Will annexed, may be obtained from the Court.

RULE 31 – EXAMINATION OF WILL AS TO ITS EXECUTION

(1) On receiving an application for probate or for administration with Will annexed, the Court shall inspect the Will, and see whether it appears to be signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence, and by his direction, and to be subscribed by two witnesses according to the enactments relative thereto, and shall not proceed further if the Will does not appear to be so signed and subscribed. (2) If the Will appears to be so signed and subscribed, the Court shall then refer to the attestation clause (if any), and consider whether the wording thereof states the Will to have been, in fact, executed in accordance with those enactments.

RULE 32 – PROOF OF EXECUTION WHERE ATTESTATION CLAUSE IS DEFECTIVE

If there is no attestation clause, or if the attestation clause is insufficient, the Court shall require an affidavit from at least one of the subscribing witnesses, if either of them is living, to prove that the Will was, in fact, executed in accordance with those enactments. The affidavit shall be engrossed and form part of the probate, so that the probate may be a complete document on the face of it.

RULE 33 – WHERE WILL NOT EXECUTED ACCORDING TO LAW

If on perusal of the affidavit it appears that the Will was not, in fact, executed in accordance with those enactments, the Court shall refuse probate.

RULE 34 – EVIDENCE ON FAILURE OF ATTESTING WITNESSES

If both subscribing witnesses are dead, or if from other circumstances, such an affidavit cannot be obtained from either of them, resort to such an affidavit shall be had from other persons (if any) present at the execution of the Will; but if no such affidavit can be obtained, proof shall be required of that fact, and of the handwriting of the deceased and of the subscribing witnesses, and also of any circumstances raising a presumption in favour of the due execution of the Will.

RULE 35 – WILL OF BLIND OR ILLITERATE TESTATOR

Where the testator was blind or illiterate, the Court shall not grant probate of the Will, or administration with the Will annexed, unless the Court is first satisfied, by proof or by what appears on the face of the Will, that the Will was read over to the deceased before its execution, or that he had at that time knowledge of its contents.

RULE 36 – INTERLINEATIONS, ERASURES, OBLITERATIONS

The Court, on being satisfied that the Will was duly executed, shall carefully inspect it to see whether there are any interlineations or alterations, or erasures, or obliterations appearing in it, and requiring to be accounted for. Interlineations, alterations, erasures, and obliterations are invalid unless they existed in the Will at the time of its execution or unless, if made afterwards, they have been executed and attested in the mode required by the said enactments, or unless they have been made valid by the re-execution of the Will, or by the subsequent execution of some codicil thereto. Where interlineations, alterations, erasures or obliterations appear in the Will (unless duly executed or recited in or otherwise identified by the attestation clause), an affidavit in proof of their having existed in the Will before its execution, shall be filed. If no satisfactory evidence is adduced respecting the time when an erasure or obliteration was made, and the words erased or obliterated are not entirely effaced, and can, on inspection of the Will, be ascertained, they shall form part of the probate. Where any words have been erased which might have been of importance, an affidavit shall be required.

RULE 37 – DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO IN A WILL

(1) Where a Will contains a reference to any document of such a nature as to raise a question whether it ought or ought not to form a constituent part of the Will, the Court shall require the production of the document, with a view to ascertaining whether or not it is entitled to probate and if it is not produced, a satisfactory account of its non-production shall be proved. A document cannot form part of a Will unless it was in existence at the time when the Will was executed. (2) If there are vestiges of sealing wax or wafers, or other marks on the Will, leading to the inference that some document has been at some time annexed or attached thereto, a satisfactory account of them shall be proved, or the production of the document shall be required, and if not produced, a satisfactory account of its non-production shall be proved.

RULE 38 – EXECUTOR DYING WITHOUT PROVING OR NOT APPEARING

Where a person appointed executor in a Will survives the testator, but either dies without having taken probate, or having been called on by the Court to take probate, does not appear, his right in respect of the executorship wholly ceases, and without further renunciation, the representation to the testator and the administration of his property may go on and be committed as if that person had not been appointed executor.

RULE 39 – MARKING OF WILL OR COPY SWORN TO CODICILS

(1) Every Will or copy of a Will to which an executor or an administrator with the Will annexed is sworn, shall be marked by the executor or administrator and by the person before whom he is sworn. (2) Codicils The provisions respecting Wills apply equally to codicils.

RULE 40 – VIVA VOCE EXAMINATION OF PERSONS MAKING AFFIDAVITS

In every case where evidence is directed or allowed to be given by affidavit, the Court may require the personal attendance of the deponent, if within the jurisdiction, before the Court, to be examined viva voce respecting the matter of his affidavit. The examination may take place before any affidavit has been sworn or prepared if the Court thinks fit.

RULE 41 – RIGHT OF ASSIGNEE TO A GRANT

(1) Where all the people entitled to the estate of the deceased under a Will have assigned their whole interest in the estate to one or more persons, the assignee or assignees shall replace in the order of priority for a grant of probate, the assignor or if there are two or more assignors, the assignors with the highest priority, in the absence of a proving executor. (2) Where there are two or more assignees, probate may be granted with the consent of the others to anyone or more (not exceeding four) of them. (3) In any case where probate is applied for by an assignee, a copy of the instrument of assignment shall be lodged in the registry.

RULE 42 – JOINDER OF ADMINISTRATOR

In the absence of a proving executor: (a) an application to join with a person entitled to a grant of administration with the Will attached, by a person in a lower degree shall, in default of renunciation by all persons entitled in priority to such last-mentioned person, be made to the Registrar and shall be supported by an affidavit by the personal representative and such other evidence as the Registrar may require. (b) an application to join with a person entitled to a grant of administration with the Will attached, by a person having the right thereto, shall be made to the Registrar and shall be supported by an affidavit by the person entitled, the consent of the person proposed to be joined as personal representative and such other evidence as the Registrar may require: Provided that there may, without any such application, be joined with a person entitled to administration with the Will attached- (a) on the renunciation of all other persons entitled to join in grant, any kin of the deceased having no beneficial interest in the estate; (b) unless the Registrar otherwise directs, any person whom the guardian of an infant may nominate for the purpose; (c) a trust corporation.

RULE 43 – ADDITIONAL PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES

(1) An application to add a personal representative shall be made to the Registrar and shall be supported by an affidavit by the applicant, the consent of the person proposed to be added as personal representative and such other evidence as the Registrar may require. (2) On any such application, the Registrar may direct that a note shall be made on the original grant, of the addition of a further personal representative, or he may impound or revoke the grant or make such other order as the circumstances of the case may require.

RULE 44 – GRANTS WHERE TWO OR MORE PERSONS ENTITLED IN SAME DEGREE

(1) A grant may be made to any person entitled thereto without notice to other persons entitled in the same degree. (2) A dispute between persons entitled to a grant in the same degree, shall be brought by application before the Registrar. (3) If an application under this rule is brought before the Registrar, he shall not allow any grant to be sealed until such application is fully disposed of. (4) Unless the Registrar otherwise directs, probate or administration with the Will attached, shall be granted to a living person in preference to the personal representative of a deceased person who would, if living, be entitled in the same degree, and to a person not under disability in preference to an infant entitled in the same degree

RULE 45 – EXCEPTIONS TO RULES AS TO PRIORITY

(1) Nothing in rules 21, 42 or 44 shall operate to prevent a grant being made to any person to whom a grant may, or may require to be made under any enactment. (2) The rules mentioned in the last foregoing sub-rules shall not apply where the deceased died domiciled outside the State, except in a case to which the proviso to rule 47 applies.

RULE 46 – GRANTS WHERE TWO OR MORE PERSONS ENTITLED IN SAME DEGREE

When the beneficial interest in the whole estate of the deceased is vested absolutely in a person who has renounced his right to a grant of administration with the Will attached, and has consented to such administration being granted to the person or persons who would be entitled to his estate if he himself had died intestate, administration may be granted to such person or one or more (not exceeding four) of such persons: Provided that a surviving spouse shall not be regarded as a person in whom the estate has vested absolutely unless he would be entitled to the whole of the estate, whatever its value may be.

RULE 47 – WHERE THE DECEASED DIED DOMICILED OUTSIDE THE STATE

Where the deceased died domiciled outside the State, the Registrar may order that a grant be issued: (1) to the person entrusted with the administration of the estate by the Court having jurisdiction at the place where the deceased died domiciled; (2) to the person entitled to administer the estate by the law of the place where the deceased died domiciled; (3) if there is no such person as is mentioned in sub-rule (1) or (2) of this rule or if in the opinion of the Registrar, the circumstances so require, to such person as the Registrar may direct; (4) if a grant is required to be made to, or if the Registrar in his discretion considers that a grant should be made to, not less than two administrators, to such person as the Registrar may direct jointly with any such person as is mentioned in sub-rule (1) or (2) of this rule or with any other persons: Provided that without any such order as aforesaid: (a) probate of any Will which is admissible to proof may be granted- . (i) if the Will is in English or in the local vernacular, to the executor named therein; (ii) if the Will describes the duties of a named person in terms sufficient to constitute him executor according to the tenor of the Will, to that person; (b) where the whole of the estate in the State consists of immovable property, a grant limited thereto may be made in accordance with the law which would have been applicable if the deceased had died domiciled in the State.

RULE 48 – GRANTS TO ATTORNEYS

(1) Where a person entitled to a grant resides outside the State, a grant maybe made to his lawfully constituted attorney, for his use and benefit, limited until such person shall obtain a grant or in such other way as the Registrar may direct: Provided that where the person so entitled is an executor, administration shall not be granted to his attorney without notice to the other executors, if any. (2) Where the Registrar is satisfied by affidavit that it is desirable for a grant to be made to the lawfully constituted attorney of a person entitled to a grant and resident in the State, he may direct that a grant be made to the attorney for the use and benefit of such person, limited until such person shall obtain a grant or in such other way as the Registrar may direct.

RULE 49 – GRANTS ON BEHALF OF INFANTS

(1) Where the person to whom a grant would otherwise be made is an infant, a grant for his use and benefit until he attains the age of eighteen years shall, subject to sub-rules (3) and (5) of this rule, be granted: – (a) to both parents of the infant jointly, or to any guardian appointed by a Court of competent jurisdiction; or (b) if there is no such guardian able and willing to act and the infant has attained the age of sixteen years, to any next-of-kin nominated by the infant or, where the infant is a married woman, to any such next-of-kin or to her husband, if nominated by her. (2) Any person nominated under paragraph (b) of the last foregoing sub-rule, may represent any other infant whose next-of-kin he is, being an infant below the age of sixteen years entitled in the same degree as the infant who made the nomination. (3) Notwithstanding anything in this rule, administration for the use and benefit of the infant until he attains the age of eighteen years may be granted to any person assigned as guardian, by order of a Court in default of, or jointly with, or to the exclusion of, any such person as is mentioned in sub-rule (1) of this rule; and such an order may be made on application by the intended guardian, who shall file an affidavit in support of the application and, if required by the Court, an affidavit of fitness sworn by a responsible person. (4) Where a grant is required to be made to not less than two persons and there is only one person competent and willing to take a grant under the foregoing provisions of this rule, a grant may, unless the Registrar otherwise directs, be made to such person jointly with any other person nominated by him as a fit and proper person to take the grant. (5) Where an infant who is sole executor has no interest in the residuary estate of the deceased, administration with the Will attached for the use and benefit of the infant until he attains the age of eighteen years shall, unless the Registrar otherwise directs, be granted to the person entitled to the residuary estate. (6) An infant’s right to administration may be renounced only by a person assigned as guardian under sub-rule (3) of this rule authorised to renounce by the Registrar.

RULE 50 – GRANTS WHERE INFANT IS CO-EXECUTOR

(1) Where one of two or more executors is an infant, probate may be granted to the other executor or executors not under disability, with power reserved for making the like grant to the infant on his attaining the age of eighteen years, and administration for the use and benefit of the infant until he attains the age of eighteen years may be granted under rule 49 if and only if the executors who are not under disability renounce or, on being cited to accept or refuse a grant, fail to make an effective application therefore. (2) An infant executor’s right to probate on attaining the age of eighteen years may not be renounced by any person on his behalf.


 Rules in ORDER 55 – APPEAL FROM MAGISTRATE’S COURT, ETC.
RULE 1 – NOTICE OF APPEAL

Every appeal shall be brought by notice of appeal, which shall be lodged in the lower court within 30 days of the decision appealed from and served on all other parties affected by the appeal within that period.

RULE 2 – CONTENTS, ETC, OF NOTICE OF APPEAL

(1) The notice of appeal shall set out the reference number of the proceedings in which the decision complained of was given, the names of the parties, the date of such decision and the grounds for appeal in full. (2) Where the appellant complains only of a part of the decision, the notice of appeal shall specify the part complained of; otherwise the appeal shall be taken to be against the decision as a whole. (3) The notice of appeal shall give an address within Edo State to which notices may be sent to the appellant and such notices may be sent to him by registered post. (4) The notice of appeal shall be in Form 44 in the Appendix and may be varied to suit the circumstances of the case but no variation of substance shall be made. Civil Form 44

RULE 3 – COPIES OF PROCEEDINGS

(1) The Registrar of the lower court shall, within three months of the decision appealed from, prepare as many certified copies of the proceedings required for the consideration of the appeal as there are parties on record: Provided that where the Registrar fails to compile the record of appeal within the time stipulated above, the appellant shall within 60 days thereafter, compile the record, for certification by the Registrar. (2) Save where the fees for preparing such copies are remitted, a deposit decided upon by the Registrar as likely to cover such fees, shall be made by the appellant before the preparation of such copies.

RULE 4 – APPEAL TO JUDGE OF HIGH COURT

The Registrar of the lower court shall within 7 days of preparing the copies aforesaid, send same to the Registrar of the Court in the Judicial Division in which the lower court is situated, and the appeal shall be decided by the Judge of that Division.

RULE 5 – RESPONDENT TO BE SUPPLIED WITH COPY OF PROCEEDINGS

When notifying a party of the day fixed for the hearing of the appeal, the Registrar of the Court shall send him a copy of the proceedings. Filing of brief (a) The appellant shall file his brief of argument within 30 days of receipt of the record of appeal; (b) The brief of argument shall be served on the respondent, who shall file his own brief of argument within 30 days of its receipt; (c) The appellant shall upon receipt of respondent’s brief of argument, file his reply on point of law only, if any, within 7 days thereof.

RULE 6 – PROCEEDINGS TIME

The times prescribed in rules 1 to 4 may be enlarged at any time by the Court, on such terms (if any) as may seem fit, after notice given to the respondent by the appellant of his application for enlargement of time.

RULE 7 – WHERE TIME EXPIRES

Where the time available to the appellant for the taking of any step has expired before such step has been taken or completed, the respondent may, on notice to the appellant, apply to the Court to strike out the appeal, and the Court may strike out, or enlarge time for sufficient reason shown.

RULE 8 – CONSTITUTION OF COURT HEARING APPEALS

All civil appeals from lower courts shall be heard by one Judge of the Court.

RULE 9 – TIME AND PLACE FOR HEARING

The appeal shall come on for hearing at such time and at such place as the Registrar of the Court shall certify to the parties, after either party must have filed and exchanged their respective briefs of argument.

RULE 10 – WHERE APPELLANT FAILS TO APPEAR

(1) If, on the day of hearing or at any adjournment of the case, the appellant does not appear, the appeal shall be struck out and the decision shall be affirmed, unless the Court thinks fit, for sufficient cause, to order otherwise. (2) If in any such case the respondent appears, the judgment shall be with costs of the appeal against the appellant, unless the Court expressly orders otherwise; but if the respondent does not appear, the costs of the appeal shall be in the discretion of the Court.

RULE 11 – WHERE APPELLANT APPEARS

If, on the day of hearing and at any adjournment of the case, the appellant appears, the Court shall, whether the respondent appears or not, proceed to the hearing or further hearing and determination of the appeal, and shall give judgment according to the merits of the case without regarding any imperfection or defect in form: Provided that if it appears or is proved to the Court that the appellant has not complied with the requirements precedent to the hearing of an appeal hereinbefore contained, the Court shall dismiss the appeal and affirm the position, with or without costs of the appeal against the appellant.

RULE 12 – APPEAL LIMITED TO GROUNDS GIVEN IN NOTICE

On hearing, it shall not be competent for the appellant to go into any other reasons for appeal than those set forth in his notice of grounds for appeal: Provided that where, in the opinion of the Court, other grounds for appeal than those set forth in the memorandum of grounds for appeal should have been given, or statement of grounds of appeal is defective, the Court, in its discretion, may allow such amendments of the memorandum of grounds for appeal upon such conditions as to service upon the respondent and as to costs, as it may think fit.

RULE 13 – REQUEST TO CONFIRM JUDGMENT ON OTHER GROUNDS

(1) The respondent may give notice that he intends at the hearing in the Court, to confirm the judgment of the lower court on grounds other than those stated by the Court. (2) The notice shall be accompanied by a clear statement of the grounds on which the respondent tends to ask the Court to confirm the judgment of the lower court. (3) Such notice and grounds shall be filed in Court within 14 days of service on the respondent, of the notice and grounds for appeal, and shall be served on the appellant or his legal practitioner.

RULE 14 – COUNTER APPEAL

(1) The respondent may file grounds for appeal against any part of the judgment of the lower court. (2) Such grounds shall be filed by the respondent within 14 days of service on him of the appellant’s notice and grounds of appeal and shall be served on the appellant or his legal practitioner before the hearing.

RULE 15 – OBJECTIONS TO FORM OF GROUNDS OF APPEAL

(1) No objection on account of any defect in the form of setting forth any ground for appeal, shall be used unless the Court is of opinion that the ground of appeal is so imperfectly or incorrectly stated as to be insufficient to enable the respondent to enquire into the subject-matter thereof or to prepare for the hearing. (2) In any case where the Court is of opinion that any objection to any reason for appeal ought to prevail, the Court may, if it thinks fit, cause the reason for appeal forthwith to be amended upon such terms and conditions, if any, as the Court may think just.

RULE 16 – DEFECTS IN PROCEEDINGS UNDER APPEAL

On any appeal from a decision of a lower court, no objection to any reason for appeal ought to prevail, the Court may, if it thinks fit, cause the reason for appeal forthwith to be amended upon such terms and conditions, if any, as the Court may think just: Provided, however, that if any error, defect, or variance mentioned in this rule appears to the Court at the hearing of any appeal, to be such that the appellants have been thereby deceived or misled, it shall be lawful for the Court either to refer the case back to the lower court with directions to re-hear and determine the same or to reverse the decision appealed from, or to make such other order for disposing of the case as justice may require.

RULE 17 – DEFECTS IN NOTICE OF APPEAL OR RECOGNISANCE

No objection shall be taken or allowed, on any appeal, to any notice of appeal which is in writing or to any recognisance entered into under this Order for the due prosecution of such appeal for any alleged error or defect therein, but if any such error or defect appears to the Court to be such that the respondent on such appeal has been thereby deceived or misled, it shall be lawful for the Court to amend same and, if it is expedient to do so, also to adjourn the further hearing of the appeal, the amendment and the adjournment, if any, being made on such terms as the Court may deem just.

RULE 18 – ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE

The Court may, in any case where it may consider it necessary that evidence should be adduced, either: (a) order such evidence to be adduced, before the Court on some day to be fixed in that behalf; or (b) refer the case back to the lower court to take such evidence, and may in such case either direct, the lower court to adjudicate afresh after taking such evidence and subject to such directions in law, if any, as the Court may think fit to give, or direct it, after taking such evidence; to report specific findings of fact for the information of the Court, and on any such reference the case shall so far as may be practicable and necessary, be dealt with as if it were being heard in the first instance.

RULE 19 – MODE OF TAKING EVIDENCE

(1) When additional evidence is to be taken by the lower court and specific findings of fact reported, it shall certify such evidence to the Court which shall thereupon proceed to dispose of the appeal. (2) The appellant or his legal practitioner shall be present when the additional evidence is taken. (3) Evidence taken in pursuance of rule 18 shall be taken as if it were evidence taken at the trial before the lower court. (4) When forwarding to the Court, any additional evidence taken by a lower court in pursuance of rule 18, the lower court may express its opinion on the demeanour of the witnesses and of the value of their evidence and may also, if it is the same court against whose decision the appeal has been made, state whether or not it would have come to a different decision had the additional evidence been brought forward at the trial.

RULE 20 – FEES

The fees in the second schedule shall be chargeable in civil appeals, save where same would have to be paid by a government officer acting in his official capacity or where the lower court or the Court waives or remits same on the ground of poverty of the person chargeable therewith where it appears that there are substantial grounds of appeal.

RULE 21 – ALLOWANCES TO WITNESSES

Allowances may be made to witnesses in accordance with the provisions of the third schedule.

RULE 22 – STAY OF EXECUTION

(1) On application being made for stay of execution under any enactment establishing the lower court, the lower court or the Court, may impose one or more of the following conditions: (a) That the appellant shall deposit a sum fixed by the Court not exceeding the amount of money or the value of the property affected by the decision or judgment appealed from, or give security to the satisfaction of the Court for the said sum; (b) That the appellant shall deposit a sum equal to the amount of the costs allowed against him or give security to the satisfaction of the Court for the said sum; (c) That the appellant shall, where the decision or judgment appealed from relates to possession of land or houses, give security to the satisfaction of the Court for the performance of the decision or judgment in the event of the appeal being dismissed; (d) That the appellant’s property shall be seized and attached pending the making of a deposit or the giving of security as aforesaid,'” including a deposit or security for the expenses incidental to the seizure and attachment; (e) That the appellant’s property shall be seized and attached and sold and the net proceeds deposited in Court pending determination of the appeal. (2) Any order made on any such application, shall limit the time (not being more than thirty days) for the performance of the conditions imposed, and direct that in default of such performance within the time so limited, execution may be issued or proceeded. (3) An application for stay of execution under the enactment establishing the lower court, may be made at any time after judgment of the notice of appeal and shall in the first instance, be made to the lower court: Provided that, where execution has been ordered by the Court the application shall not be made to the lower court but to the Court. (4) The application may be made ex-parte but the Court may direct notice thereof to be given to the other party to the appeal; and where an order is made ex-parte, the Registrar of the Court shall notify the other party of the order made. (5) Where the appellant proposes to give security instead of making a deposit, the application shall state the nature of the security and the name of the surety proposed (if any). (6) Any party dissatisfied with an order made by the lower court, may apply to the Court by motion (original or interlocutory, as it may require) with notice to the other party, for a review of the order and the Court may thereupon make such order as may seem just. (7) An appeal shall not operate as a stay of execution under the decision or judgment appealed from except so far as the lower court or the Court may order; and no intermediate act or proceedings shall be invalidated except so far as either court may direct.

RULE 23 – COSTS

The Court may make such order as to the payment of costs by or to the appellant, as it may deem to be just and such order may be made also in any case where an appeal has not been entered into or prosecuted.

RULE 24 – SECURITY FOR COSTS

(1) The Court may, in special circumstances, upon application on notice by motion (original or interlocutory as the case may require), supported by affidavit, order the appellant to deposit such sum or give such security as may seem fit for the respondent’s costs of appeal, including ‘the costs incidental to the application. (2) The order shall limit the time (not exceeding thirty days) within which the deposit or security shall be made or given and may direct that in default of its being made or given within the time so limited, the appeal shall without further order stand dismissed. (3) Where an appeal so stands dismissed, the respondent shall be entitled to all reasonable costs occasioned by the appeal and the amount of such costs may be stated in the order in anticipation or may be assessed at any time by the Court of its own motion or on notice given within (30 days) of such dismissal (but not otherwise). (4) Where an appeal so stands dismissed, the appellant shall take no further step or proceedings therein, save by leave of the Court for reinstatement of the appeal, which may be granted on such terms (if any) as may seem fit upon application by motion on notice given within (30 days) of such dismissal (but not otherwise). (5) Subject and without prejudice to the discretion of the Court to grant costs where it seems proper on an application made under sub-rule (1), costs shall not normally be granted to the applicant save where the net proceeds of execution levied on the appellant’s goods are sufficient to satisfy the amount payable under the judgment or decision appealed from.

RULE 25 – ORDERS OF HIGH COURT TO BE CERTIFIED TO MAGISTRATE’S COURT

(1) When a case is decided on appeal, the Court shall certify its judgment or order to the lower court in which the decision appealed against was pronounced. (2) The lower court to which the Court certifies its judgment or order, shall thereupon make such orders as are in conformity with the judgment or order of the Court, and, if necessary, the records shall be amended in accordance therewith.

RULE 26 – ENFORCING OF JUDGMENT

After the pronouncement of the judgment of the Court, the lower court from which the appeal came, shall have the same jurisdiction and power to enforce and shall enforce, any decision which may have been affirmed, modified, amended, or substituted by the Court, or any judgment which may have been pronounced by the Court, in the same manner in all respects as if such decision or judgment had been pronounced by itself.

RULE 27 – ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS

Any order given or made by the Court, may be enforced by the Court or by the lower court as may be most expedient.

RULE 28 – HIGH COURT MAY ENLARGE TIME

The Court may, if it deems fit, enlarge any period of time prescribed by this Order.

RULE 29 – INTERPRETATION

In this Order: “the lower Court” means the Court whose judgment is appealed against, and includes a Magistrate’s Court but does not include an Arbitrator, a Referee or an Auditor; “Judgment” includes an order or a ruling.


 Rules in ORDER 56 – APPEALS TO THE HIGH COURT FROM DECISIONS OF AUDITORS
RULE 1 – APPLICATION

This Order shall apply to any appeal to the Court from a decision of an auditor, made under the provisions of any written law which confers the right to appeal to the High Court against any such decision.

RULE 2 – METHOD OF APPEAL

An appeal to the Court from a decision of an auditor shall be by notice of motion.

RULE 3 – EVIDENCE

The evidence upon the hearing of the appeal, shall be by affidavit except in so far as the Court at the hearing, may direct oral evidence to be given.

RULE 4 – SERVICE

The notice of motion shall be served, before the expiration of six weeks after the date of the decision of which it relates, upon the auditor in charge of the audit in respect of which the decision has been made and also upon the local government or other body in relation to whose accounts or to the accounts of whose officer the decision was given, if that local government or other body is not the appellant.

RULE 5 – CONTENTS OF NOTICE, DATE OF HEARING

The notice of motion shall state the grounds of appeal, and the date mentioned in the notice for the hearing of the appeal shall not be less than twenty-eight days after the service of the notice.

RULE 6 – REASONS FOR APPEAL TO BE FILED

(1) The appellant shall within seven days after service on the auditor, of the notice of motion, file with the Registrar, a copy of such notice and an affidavit or affidavits setting out the reasons stated by the auditor for his decision and the facts upon which the appellant intends to rely at the hearing, and thereupon the motion shall be set down for hearing. (2) If the notice of motion is not set down in accordance with this provision, either the local government or other body or the auditor, may apply to the Court, upon notice to the appellant, for an order discharging the notice of motion and for the costs of the application.

RULE 7 – COPY OF AFFIDAVITS TO BE SERVED ON THE PARTIES

The appellant shall deliver forthwith, to the local government or other body and to the auditor, a copy of any affidavit filed under rule 6 in support of the motion and any person intending to oppose the motion shall, four days at least before the hearing, deliver to the appellant, a copy of any affidavit intended to be filed by him in opposition to the motion.

RULE 8 – SERVICE ON AUDITORS OTHER THAN THE AUDITOR WHO GAVE THE DECISION

Where under rule 4, notice of motion is served on an auditor other than the auditor who gave the decision, that auditor may appear in opposition thereto in all respects as if he were the auditor by whom the decision was given and these provisions shall apply accordingly.


 Rules in ORDER 57 – FEES AND ALLOWANCES
RULE 1 – FEES

(1) Subject to the provision of any written law and the following Orders: (a) The fees set out in the Second, Third and Fourth Schedules hereunder, shall be payable by any person commencing the respective proceedings or desiring the respective services for which they are specified in those Schedules. 2nd, 3rd and 4th Schedules (b) Allowances The allowances set out in Part II of the Second Schedule shall be payable to the various categories of witnesses mentioned therein, by any person at whose instance they testify: [Part II of 2nd Schedule] Provided that a witness who testifies at the instance of the Court, acting on its own motion, shall be paid out of public revenue.

RULE 2 – REGULATIONS

The regulations set out in the Fourth Schedule shall be observed by all officers of Court concerned with the rendering of services, and/or collection of fees payable, under the provisions of the foregoing Orders. [4th Schedule] Fees and Allowances 1. Fees Appendix 1 (1) Subject to the provisions of any written law and of the foregoing Orders, the fees set out in Appendix 1 to these Rules, shall be payable by any person commencing the respective proceedings, or desiring the respective services for which they are specified in the Appendix. Exemptions (2) These fees are waived in respect of a party which is or represents a Government Ministry, non-Ministerial Departments, Federal, State and Local Government or any of their agencies. Allowances: Appendix 2 (3) The allowances set out in Appendix 2 to these Rules, shall be payable to the various categories of witnesses mentioned therein by any person at whose instance they testify. A witness who testifies at the instance of the Court, acting on its own motion, shall be paid out of public revenue. 2. Regulations Appendix 3 The regulations set out in Appendix 3 to these rule shall be observed by all officers of Court concerned with the rendering of services and/or collection of fees payable under the provisions of the foregoing Orders. Miscellaneous Provisions 1. Order to be made Subject to particular rules, the Court may in all causes and matters, make any order which it considers necessary for doing justice, whether the order has been expressly asked for by the person entitled to the benefit of the order or not. 2. Other procedure rules The Chief Judge may modify or add to the list of rules set out in the Appendices to these Rules. 3. Recovery of Penalties and cost All fines, forfeitures, pecuniary penalties and cost ordered to be paid, may be levied by distress, seizure and sale of both movable and immovable property of the person making default in payment. 4. Notice In all cases in which the publication of any notice is required, the same may be made by advertisement in the Stale Gazette, unless otherwise provided in any particular case by any rule of Court or otherwise ordered by the Court. 5. Filing A document shall not be filed unless it has endorsed on it, the name and number of the case, the date of filing, the telephone and e-mail address of the legal practitioner filing, and whether filed by the claimant or defendant, and on being filed, the endorsement shall be initialed by the Registrar. 6. Fees: Appendix 4 The fees set out in Appendix 4 to these Rules, may be charged in respect of the duties of a notary public or of a notarial act and other duties therein mentioned. 7. Where no rules exist Where a matter arises in respect of which no provision or no adequate provisions are made in these Rules, the Court shall adopt such similar procedure in other Rules as will in its view do substantial justice between the parties concerned.


 Rules in ORDER 58 – POWERS OF THE CHIEF JUDGE TO AMEND RULES AND ISSUE PRACTICE DIRECTIONS
RULE 1 – POWER OF CHIEF JUDGE OVER NEW RULES

Whenever additional provisions are made to these Rules or any part thereof is amended or modified, the Chief Judge may issue directives for addition, publication or reprint of supplements to these Rules.

RULE 2 – PUBLICATION OF NEW RULES

Whenever the Chief Judge makes amendment or modification to these Rules, it shall be sufficient to publish same as supplemental provisions without the necessity of new body of Rules, except when necessary.

RULE 3 – CHIEF JUDGE’S POWERS TO ISSUE PRACTICE DIRECTIONS, ETC.

The Chief Judge shall have the power to issue practice directions, protocols, directives and guidance towards the realization of speedy, just and effective administration of justice.

RULE 4 – PRACTICE DIRECTIONS, ETC., TO BE PUBLISHED

Such practice directions, protocols, directives and guidance, shall be published in the State Gazette and be given effect towards the realisation of the fundamental objective of these Rules.


 Rules in ORDER 59 – ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND SERVICE CENTRE FOR E-FILING.
RULE 1 – POWER OF THE CHIEF JUDGE

The Chief Judge may issue directions to establish Communication and Service Centre for the purpose of achieving the fundamental objective of these Rules, which may include designated electronic filing sites for on-line filing of processes and documents.

RULE 2 – FURTHER RULES THEREOF

The Chief Judge may make such further rules to guide the effective operation of the Communications and Service Centre for E-filing.

RULE 3 – TIME FOR ESTABLISHMENT

“The Chief Judge from time to time, may make necessary rules and issue appropriate practice directions for the establishment, upgrading and updating of the Communications and E-filing Service Centre.”