The stress, cost and fear of losing a case after sueing someone to court has really detered many Nigerian from doing so. As it stands now, Nigerians don’t like involving themselves in anything that involves court cases because they believe it is a huge financial burden. This is unlike many other countries like the United States and India that also have similar legal system with ours. The simple truth is that, most Nigerians are illiterates when it comes to legal matters. In fact, 75% of Nigerians don’t know their right and most of them don’t even care to know.
Having seen these things, I thought it wise to educate my fellow Nigerian on how to sue someone to court and also get judgment for yourself. I highly encourage you to read this work and share it with other because I know someone out there is also in need of this information.
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How to sue someone to court in Nigeria
Before taking anybody to court, it is important to consider whether the matter is actually something that should be taken to court. Running to court when you can easily settle a matter through other means like mediation, arbitration or even negotiation, can make you spend unnecessarily. So if you have a matter that concerns, for example, house rent, it is usually advisable to settle that kind of matter through negotiation or mediation.
But as you might have thought, every case is never the same. So, the method of settlement to use largely depends on the facts of the case.
When you must have considered the method of settlement to use and it seems going to court is ideal, you can they proceed to do so.
Now, in suing someone, it is important to jettison the idea that you must have a lawyer to sue someone in Nigeria. The law makes it possible for every Nigerian to sue when they want to. Consequently, you don’t necessarily have to get a lawyer to sue someone that messes with you.
However, it is advisable to get a lawyer. Now you may be asking, “Why is it necessary to get a lawyer?”. The answer is simple; a lawyer is the only person that understands your case. He is the only person that can tell you the strength of your case and give you advice on what to do.
Another thing which you must put into consideration is the jurisdiction and court to file your matter. If the matter falls under the original Jurisdiction of the high court, then you have to sue at the high Court. On the other hand, if the matter is under the jurisdiction of the magistrate court, then you have to do so.
Jurisdiction is an essential part of any case. If you don’t sue in the right jurisdiction, you are bound to lose the case. Now, the question is, “How can one know the right jurisdiction or court to sue in?”. The answer to this question depends on the facts of the case and place.
Take for instance, in Lagos State, if a civil matter has a monetary value of N10,000,000 or less it is to be taken to a magistrate court. Accordingly, if the matter exceeds N10,000,000, then it is for a High Court.
When a matter is concerned with an employer and employee contract, the matter is to be taken to the National Industrial Court.
After deciding which jurisdiction to file the matter, you have to proceed to filing it. This can be done either as a writ of summons or originating summons accompanied with all necessary documents. Submit it to the court registrar and pay the necessary fee. The court bailiff will then inform the defendant (person you are suing) that he/she has a case in court.
He/she will be given the opportunity to reply to the case and to get a lawyer as representative too. Finally, the case will be given a suit number and the date will be fix for the hearing of the matter.
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This all you need to know about sueing someone in Nigeria. From what I have explained so far, i don’t see any reason why you should be scared of sueing anyone who has breached a contract between the both of you or infringed on your right. After the above procedures, you won’t have to pay any money again except the appearance fee of your lawyer which is dependent on the lawyer you engaged to handle your matter.
Hope this article was insightful? You can drop a comment at the comment box below for more information or clarification.