Litigation, Nigeria updates

Waterways: Lagos v federal government – who won?
  • Nigeria
  • October 17 2017

The Court of Appeal recently declared the Lagos State House of Assembly competent to make laws relating to intra-inland waterways in the state. The appeal turned on whether the regulation and control of Lagos state intrastate and inland waterways fall under the exclusive legislative list which confers legislative competence on the National Assembly. Contrary to reports, the decision is hardly a win for the Lagos state government.

Industrial court rules on workplace discrimination due to HIV/AIDS status
  • Nigeria
  • April 11 2017

In a recent case, the National Industrial Court found that the applicant's employment had been constructively terminated because of his HIV/AIDS status. While there was clear evidence that the applicant had stopped working after his HIV/AIDS status had been disclosed and that the respondent had not answered the applicant's repeated requests to be recalled to work, the decision highlights the delicate balance between fundamental rights and public health consideration in the workplace.

Federal High Court clarifies rule regarding alternative security to secure release of oil rig
  • Nigeria
  • December 20 2016

The Federal High Court recently varied an arrest order against an oil rig, in which its release was made conditional on the provision of a bank guarantee in the amount of the plaintiff's claim only. This decision is commendable, as the Nigerian courts have previously restricted the security that shipowners can provide to the value of a claim, thereby depriving shipowners of the alternative security benefit provided in the Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules.

Court rules garnishee proceedings cannot continue when stay of execution has been filed
  • Nigeria
  • September 06 2016

While the filing or granting of a motion for a stay of execution will stop the enforcement of a judgment by writ of execution, some judicial authorities have ruled that a motion or order for a stay of execution does not stop garnishee proceedings to attach funds belonging to the judgment debtor in a bank or third parties. However, in a ground-breaking decision, the Court of Appeal recently departed from its earlier decisions on this matter.

Procedural requirements for issuance of originating process: judicial revolt
  • Nigeria
  • June 07 2016

Under Nigerian civil procedure, a litigant that wishes to commence proceedings against an adverse party that is resident in another jurisdiction must seek leave of a judge at the place of issuance to issue and serve the originating processes on the respondent in the jurisdiction where it is resident. However, the effect of non-compliance with this requirement has been the subject of much controversy, to the point where it has undermined the doctrine of judicial precedent.

Service of originating processes – to seek leave or not?
  • Nigeria
  • May 24 2016

A writ of summons issued out of any state court may be served on the defendant in any other state. Under the rules of the Federal High Court, leave of court is required for service of a writ of summons. However, while the requirement to seek leave leaves no room for argument regarding originating processes issued under the civil procedure rules of the state high courts, the position of the Federal High Court has been unclear in this regard.

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