A- C G – K M – I R – T
D – F L – L P – P U – Z



1.       Establishment of Customary Courts

2.       Composition of Customary Courts

3.       Appointment of members, etc

4.       Seal of the Customary Court

5.       Qualifications of members

6.       Tenure of office of members

7.       Disqualification and removal of members

8.       Quorum and voting

9.       Conditions of service of members

10.     Powers of members

11.     Remuneration and allowances of members

12.     Decorum, dress, etc.

13.     Oath of members

14.     Presiding in Customary Courts

15.     Sessions of Customary Courts

16.     Court open throughout the year: times of sitting

17.     Protection of members of the Court

18.     Appointment and control of Court Clerks and other officers

19.     Court Clerks

20.     Bailiffs and messengers

21.     General jurisdiction

22.     Civil jurisdiction

23.     Power to increase jurisdiction

24.     Oath requirement

25.     Applicable Law

26.     Appropriate Customary Law

27.     Place of trial

28.     Guardianship of children

29.     Practice and Procedure

30.     Representation before a Customary Court

31.     Open Court

32.     Decision to be in writing

33.     Power to summon witnesses

34.     Execution of judgments

35.     Execution of orders of other Courts

36.     Power to grant injunction or impound property

37.     Transfer of causes or matters

38.     Right of appeal to Magistrates’ Court

39.     Inspection

40.     Supervision and control of Customary Courts

41.     Contempt

42.     Obstruction of justice

43.     Adjudication without authority

44.     Prohibition of fines in excess of those authorised

45.     Rendering false returns

46.     Falsification of the record of proceedings

47.     Rules of Court

48.     Transitional provisions

49.     Abolition of cadres of Customary

50.     Repeal

51.     Interpretation

52.     Citation and commencement



[Commencement]                                                           [1st August 2011]


1.      Establishment of Customary Courts

The Lagos State Judicial service Commission (referred to in this Law as “the Commission”) shall establish Customary Courts acting on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, subject to the approval of the Governor.

2.      Composition of Customary Courts

(1)     The Composition may on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, at any time vary the number of Customary     Courts by a notification in the State Official Gazette from time to time.

(2)     A Customary Court is properly constituted with a minimum of three (3) members and a maximum of five (5)       members, ne of whom shall be the President.

3.      Appointment of members, etc.

The Commission shall have power to –

(a)     appoint as many members to the Customary Courts as may be required from time to time, by legal notice in the Lagos      State official Gazette; and

(b)     dismiss or exercise disciplinary control over such members.

4. Seal of the Customary Courts

(1)     A Customary Court shall have and may use an official sea; bearing the device and impression approved by the      Commission with the inscription “The Customary Court of Lagos State”.

(2)     The seal shall be kept by the President within the Court and he may entrust the seal or its copy to such officers of the       Court as he thinks fit.

(3)     The seal referred to in this section shall be the seal of the Customary Court for all purposes for which it may be         required under the provisions of this or any other law.

5.      Qualifications of members

A person shall be qualified to hold office as President or member of a Customary Court if he is-

(a)     a person of proven character and good standing in the society;

(b)     a person of adequate means;

(c)     properly placed by his circumstances to perform the functions as a member of the Customary Court;

(d)     a person with educational qualification not below school certificate; and

(e)     has attained the age of fifty (50) years.

6. Tenure of office of members

The office of a member of the Customary Court shall be by appointment for a renewable term of five (5 years and shall not be pensionable.

7.      Disqualification/removal of members

(1)     A person shall be disqualified from holding office as President or member of a Customary Court, if-

(a)     in the opinion of the Commission, he is mentally impaired or otherwise unable or unfit to discharge the functions of a president or member of the Court;

(b)     he has been convicted of an offence which involves fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude; and

(c)     for reason of indiscipline and misconduct, the Commission determines that a president or member be removed from office.

(2)     The dismissal of a president or a member shall be published in the State’s Official Gazette.

8.      Quorum and voting

(1)     For the purpose of hearing any case in a Customary Court, three (3) members shall form a quorum.

(2)     In all causes before a Customary Court, the opinion of the majority of the members hearing the cause shall, in the     event of the members disagreeing, be deemed and taken to be the decision of the Court.

(3)     In the event of an equality of votes, the President shall exercise a casting vote.

9. Conditions of service of members

The Commission may by regulations make provisions for the-

(a)     terms and conditions of service;

(b)     salaries, allowances or fees to be paid, if any; and

(c)     leave and other benefits, of members of Customary Courts.

10.    Powers of members

Each member of the court shall have equal power, authority and jurisdiction as conferred on him by his appointment and subject to any special provision under this Law.

11.    Remuneration and allowances of members

(1)     All local government councils shall fund the payment of the salaries, allowances and remuneration of customary courts      and their members, and defray expenditure necessary to provide for the other benefits and facilities which shall be a      charge on the revenue due to the local government councils in any appropriate year.

(2)     The State Government shall make contribution to the upkeep and maintenance of the Customary Courts where          necessary.

12.    Decorum, dress, etc.

(1)     Notwithstanding any Law or custom to the contrary, the members of the Customary Courts of the state shall be        addressed as “Your Worship”.

(2)     Members when in Court shall be dressed in a dignified manner.

(3)     The commission shall be responsible for ensuring good conduct and discipline of Customary Court members.

13. Oath of members

On appointment to the Customary Court, a member shall take an oath of affirmation which shall be administered by the Chief Judge, before proceeding to discharge the duties of his office.

14. Presiding in Customary Courts

(1)     Any person appointed a Justice of the Peace shall qualify to be President of the Customary Court.

(2)     Where the President is absent at the commencement of the hearing of a case or matter, the members of the Court     shall select one of themselves to preside over the hearing of the cause or matter.

15.    Sessions of Customary Courts

The Commission may direct that the Court shall hold sessions at a designated building and such session be held at such time as it deems fit.

16.    Court opens throughout the year: times of sitting

The Court shall be open throughout the year except on Sundays and public holidays for the transaction of legal business, and shall sit at such times as may, subject to any direction of the Commission, be determined by the members.

17. Protection of members of the Court

(1)     No member of a Customary Court shall be liable for any act done by him or ordered by him to be done in the   discharge of his judicial duty, whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction, provided that in good faith, he believed himself to have jurisdiction to do or order to be done the act in question at the time.

(2)     No person required or bound to. execute any order issued by a Customary Court shall be liable in any action for     damages in respect of the execution of such order, solely on the ground that the member was not acting within the limits of his jurisdiction in doing so.

18.    Appointment and control of Court Clerks and other officers

There may be appointed from time to time, Court Clerks, interpreters and other officers as the Commission deems necessary, who shall be subject to the general supervision and control of the Commission for the purpose of the general support of the functions of members of the Customary Courts.

19.    Court Clerks.

(1)     A Court Clerk shall be attached to each Customary Court and shall perform such duties in the execution of powers and     authorities of the court as may be assigned to him by rules of Court or by any special order of the Court. In particular   he shall –

(a)     prepare for issue, all writs and process of Court;

(b)     register all orders and judgments of the Court; and

(c)     enter an account of all monies received by or paid to the Court.

(2)     A Clerk may’ with the consent of the President of the Customary Court, delegate any of the duties assigned to him to         any other officer or servant of the Court, and in every such case such officer or servant of the Court, and in every such    case such officer or servant shall be governed with respect to his duties by the Orders and direction]s of the Clerk and         the Court.

20.    Bailiffs and messengers

(1)     The Commission may appoint such number of fit and proper persons to be bailiffs and messengers of a Customary      Court as the business of the Court shall require.

(2)     It shall be the duty of any person appointed under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section to –

          (a)     effect the service and execution of all writs and other process

(b)     make all necessary returns in relation to such writs and other process;

(c)     carry out such other duties as may be prescribed by rules made under this Law; and

(d)     attend the Court and obey all its lawful directions at all times when he is not engaged in duties which necessitate his absence from the Court.

(3)     No person other than a duly appointed bailiff or messenger shall carry out or purport or attempt to carry out any of       the duties in subsection (2) of this section.

21.    General Jurisdiction

(1)     Customary Courts shall exercise the jurisdiction conferred on them by or under this Law.

(2)     Subject to the provisions of this Law, a Court shall have jurisdiction over all persons within the State.

22.    Civil jurisdiction

(1)     The jurisdiction and power of a Court in civil causes and matters shall be as set out in Part 1 of the First Schedule to         this Law.

(2)     In civil cases a court shall, so far as there is proper opportunity, promote reconciliation among persons over whom the           court has jurisdiction, encourage and facilitate the settlement of matters and differences between parties in an     amicable manner.

(3)     The Commission may designate a Court to adjudicate on Islamic law and matters in relation to marriage, divorce,       custody and inheritance as it deems fit.

23.    Power to increase jurisdiction

(1)     The Chief Judge may by notice in the State Official Gazette authorise the increase in jurisdiction in civil causes or     matters to be exercised by any Court to such an extent as the Commission may specify when making such          recommendation.

(2)     The Chief Judge may by notice in the State Official Gazette authorise any Customary Court to impose fees exceeding         that prescribed under this Law to such extent as the Commission may specify when making such recommendation.

(3)     An authority given under this section may at any time be revoked by the Chief Judge by notice in the State Official        Gazette.

24.    Oath requirement

Any oath that is required to be sworn shall be so sworn before a Commissioner for oath, if any, in the Customary Court where there is a Commissioner for Oath or before a Magistrate court in the State and may be used in proceedings in the Customary Court.

25. Applicable law

(1)     A customary court shall observe and enforce every customary Law, which is applicable and is not repugnant to natural       justice, equity and good conscience or incompatible either directly or by implication with any law for the time being in          force, and nothing in this Law shall deprive any person of the benefit of customary Law.

(2)     No party shall be entitled to claim the benefit of any customary Law, if it shall appear either from express contract or from the nature of the transactions out of which any suit or question may have arisen that such party agreed that his   obligations in connection with such transactions should be exclusively regulated otherwise than by Customary Law or          that such transactions are transactions unknown to customary Law.

(3)     A Customary Court shall administer the provisions of –

(a)     any Law in respect of which jurisdiction is conferred on the Court by that law; and

(b)     all rules and bye-laws made by a local government council, or having effect as if so made, under the provisions of any Law in force in the area of jurisdiction of the Court.

(4)     A copy of the bye-law published in the State Official Gazette on which the of matter before the Customary court is    based shall be produced in court.

26.    Appropriate Customary Law

(1)     In causes and matters arising from inheritance the appropriate customary shall, subject to subsection (3) of this      section, be the customary Law applying to the deceased.

(2)     Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section –

          (a)     in civil causes or matters where –

(i)      both parties are not from the area of jurisdiction of the court; or

(ii)     the transaction which is the subject of the cause or matter was not entered into in the area of the jurisdiction of the Court; or

(iii)    one of the parties is not from the area of jurisdiction of the Court and the parties agreed or may be presumed to have agreed that their obligations should be regulated, wholly or partly, by the Customary Law applicable to the parties;

the appropriate customary Law sha, be the Customary Law binding between the parties.

(b)     in all other civil causes and matters the appropriate Customary Laws shall be the Law of the area of jurisdiction of the Court.

(3)     where the customary Law applicable to land prohibits, restricts or regulates the devolution on death to any particular class of persons, of the right to occupy such land, it shall not operate to deprive any person of any beneficial interest in such land (other than right to occupy the same) or in the proceeds of sale of the land to which he may be entitled    under the rules of inheritance of any other Customary Law.

(4)     Evidence of Customary Law shall be adduced in a Customary court in all such cases as may be provided in the rules made under section 47 of this Law.

27.     Place of trial

Matters other than land causes shall be tried and determined by a Customary Court having jurisdiction over the area in which the defendant was at the time the cause  of action arose.

28.     Guardianship of children

(1)     In any matter relating to the guardianship and custody of children, the interest and welfare of the child (children) shall be of paramount  consideration.

(2)     Wherever it appears to a Court that an order made by such Court should  be reviewed in the interest of a child (children), the Court may, of its own motion or on the application  of any of the child’s (children’s) relatives  or guardian, vary or discharge such order.

29.     Practice and procedure

(1)     In any proceedings  before it, the Customary  Court shall proceed  without undue formality and shall  ensure that the proceedings  are not protracted.

(2)     Subject to the provisions of this Law  and any other relevant  law,  the practice and procedure of the Court shall be regulated  by Rules of Court made under section 47 of this Law.

30.     Representation before a Customary Court

(1)     In any cause brought by or against a local council, the council may be represented before a Customary Court at any stage of the  proceedings  by an employee  of the Council who satisfies the Court that he has the authority of the Council to do so.

(2)   A Customary  Court may permit-

(a)     the husband, wife, guardian, servant, employer or member of the household   of any party, who shall give satisfactory proof that he has authority in that behalf;  or

(b)     a relative of a person administering an estate subject  to the jurisdiction of the Court;

to appear for any party in  any cause or matter before the Customary  Court.

31.     Open Court

(1)    The room or place in which a Court shall sit to hear and determine  any cause or matter shall be an open and public Court to which members of the public  shall  have  a right of access.

(2)     Provision  may  be made  by rules under  section  47  of this  Law  in  appropriate cases for the exclusion  of the public from  any proceedings.

32.     Decision to be in writing

The decision of the Court shall be reduced to writing on the day that proceedings  are concluded.

33      Power to summon  witnesses

Subject  to the provisions  of any rules made under section  47 every Court shall have power to summon before  it for the purposes  of giving  evidence,  any person within  the area of the jurisdiction  of the Court and any person outside such area but within the State.

34. Execution  of judgments

Subject  to the provisions  of any rules made under section  47, any judgment  or order given  or made  by the  Court  may  be enforced  by seizure  and  sale  of the property of the person against whom judgment is made, or by such  other methods of enforcing judgments and orders as may be prescribed by such rules.

35      Execution of orders  of other courts

The Courts shall carry into  execution  any order of-

(a)     the Supreme  Court;

(b)     the Court of Appeal;

(c)     the High Court;

(d)     a Magistrates’  Court; and

(e)     any Court  established  or deemed  to have  been  so established  under  this Law;

(f)      any Court of any other part of the Federation  of Nigeria;  which may be lawfully directed to them, and shall serve all processes;

provided  that  paragraph  (f)  of this  section  shall  apply  only  where  the  Customary Courts  of the other part  of the Federation  concerned  have power  under  any Law  in force there,  to carry  into execution  the  decrees  or orders  and to  serve  all the processes  of the Customary  Courts of Lagos State which may lawfully be directed to them, and render such assistance  as may be required.

36. Power to grant injunction  or impound property

In any cause before  a Customary  Court that is, pending  final determination,  it  shall be shown to the satisfaction  of the Customary  Court that any property  which  is  in  dispute in  the  cause  is  in  danger  of being  wasted,  damaged,  alienated  or  otherwise  injuriously dealt with by any party to the cause, the Customary  Court may issue  an injunction  to such party  ordering him to refrain  from  doing the particular  act complained  of or, alternatively, may take and keep such property in custody pending the determination  of such cause.

37. Transfer of causes or matters

The  Chief Judge  may  transfer  any  cause  or  matter  before  a  Customary  Court  to another Customary  Court or a Magistrates’  Court or to a High Court by means of an Order given  under  his hand  at the  instance  of the  said Customary  Court  or on the  advice  of a Customary  Court Inspector or on the application  of any party to the cause or matter.

38. Right of appeal to Magistrates’  Court

(1)     Any  party  aggrieved  by  a decision  or order  of a Customary  Court  to having jurisdiction in that  area may,  within  thirty  (30) days of the date of the order  or decision, appeal to a Magistrates’  Court.

(2)     Such  Magistrate  before  whom  such  an  appeal  is  brought may  as  often  as he deems necessary  in  the interest  of justice,  enlarge  the time prescribed  under the foregoing subsection upon such terms and conditions  as may be appropriate.

(3)     The  practice   and  procedure   of  a  Magistrates’  Court  on  appeal  shall  be  in accordance  with the rules which may be drawn up from  time to time by the Chief Judge of the  State and until  such rules are made under  this section,  the High  Court of Lagos  State (Appeal)  Rules  shall  apply  in  respect  of the  practice  and procedure  of the  Magistrates’ Court,  on appeal  from  decisions  of Customary  Courts  as they apply to the High Court  in its  appellate jurisdiction with  such modifications  whether  by way of additions,  alterations or omissions as may be applicable  from time to time.

39.     Inspection

In any cause  or matter,  it shall be lawful  for  a Customary  Court,  on the application of either party or on its own motion to-

 (a)              make  such order  as the  Court  may  deem  fit for the  inspection by the  Court,  the parties   or  any  witness,  of any  movable  or  immovable  property,  the  inspection of which may  be material to the proper determination of the question in dispute;  and

(b)     give  such  direction as the Court  may  deemfit regarding such  inspection.

40.     Supervision  and control of Customary Courts

(1)     Customary Courts shall be under the general supervision and control of the Commission-

(2)     The Commission shall appoint such number of Customary Court Inspectors as may be required, provided that there shall be no less than five (5) Customary Court Inspectors in the State who  shall be legal practitioners  of not less than seven  (7) years’ post-call experience, or retired magistrates.

(3)    A  Customary Court  Inspector shall  be  empowered to  supervise  administrative functions  in  the  Customary Court  in the  area  of his jurisdiction as  the  Commission may from  time  to  time  direct and  he  shall  at all  times  have  access  to the  Customary Courts  as well  as the records and proceedings of such  Courts.

41.     Contempt

(1)     Any person who-

(a)     insults a Customary Court President or any of its members during a sitting;

(b)     intentionally interrupts the proceedings of a Customary Court  at any stage; or

(c)     commits other acts of contempt in the face of the  Court;

shall  be  guilty of an  offence  and  shall  be  liable  on  conviction to a fine not exceeding  Five Thousand Naira (N5,000.00) or to imprisonment or other correctional remand for up to fourteen (14) days  or to any non-custodial sentence.

(2)     Any Customary Court subject to the powers conferred on it by subsection  (1) of this section may order-

(a)     any  person  to  be  detained  in   pnson  custody   or  in  a  rehabilitation  or correction centre;

(b)     that any fine which it may impose  shall be paid at such time or times as it may think just and in  default payment;

(c)     that  the amount  of the  fine  levied  be recovered by the  sale of any property which  belongs  to the person fined  and  which  is situated  within the  area of jurisdiction of the Court;

(d)     that  a  sentence  of  imprisonment  passed   on  a person  in  default  of  a  fine shall  not  exceed  in the  aggregate the  maximum sentence   of imprisonment which  the Court  is empowered to impose;

(e)     that  all  fines  and  fees  received in  pursuant to  contempt  proceedings shall be paid  into  the Local  Government Treasury.

(3)     Any  person who  without  reasonable excuse, fails to obey any valid  summons issued  under  the  provisions of section 33 of this Law  may  be arrested and  brought before such other Court  as may  have  jurisdiction  over such  person,   and  shall  be liable to a fine not exceeding Five  Thousand Naira  (N5,000.00) or to imprisonment or other correctional remand  for up to fourteen  (14) days  or any non-custodial sentence.

42.     Obstruction  of justice

Any person including members and  officials  of the Court  who  does  any act-

(a)     with  intent  to defeat,  obstruct  or prevent  the course  of justice  in any cause  or matter  before  a Customary Court;  or

(b)    causes  any person to delay  giving  or to refrain  from  giving  evidence before  that Court;  or

(c)     otherwise  prevents  any  person   from  givmg   evidence  shall   be  guilty   of  an offence and  shall  be liable on conviction by a Magistrates’ Court  to a fine of One  Hundred Thousand Naira (N l 00,000.00) or to imprisonment  or other  correctional remand  for  up  to twelve  (12)  months  or to any non-custodial sentence.

43.     Adjudication without authority

Any person  who-

(a)     exercises  or attempts to exercise  judicial powers  within  the  area  of jurisdiction of a  duly  constituted  Customary Court,   except   in  accordance  with  the  provisions of any law;  or

(b)     sits   as  a  member  of  such   Court   without  due   authority,  shall   be   liable   on conviction  before  the  High   Court   or  a  Magistrate  Court   to  a  fine  not  exceeding  Two Hundred Thousand Naira  (N200,000.00) or to imprisonment  or other  correctional  remand for eighteen ( 18)  months or to both such fine and remand  or imprisonment.

44.     Prohibition  of fines in excess of those authorised

(1)     No fees  or fines in  excess of those authorised  by or under this Law or any fees under  other Laws  shall  be demanded  or exacted  from  any person  in  respect  of any cause or matter  triable in a Court.

(2)     Any  member,  officer  or  servant  of a  Customary  Court  who  contravenes  the provisions  of subsection  (1)  of this section shall be guilty of an offence  and shall be liable on conviction  before  a Magistrate  Court to a fine not  exceeding  One  Hundred  Thousand Naira  (N 100,000.00)  or to  imprisonment  or  other  correctional  remand  for  up  to  six  (6) months or any non-custodial  sentence.

(3)     The Customary  Court may order  any amount  exacted  in excess  to be refunded to the person who made the payment.

(4)     If  default  shall  be made  by  any person  against  whom  an order  to refund  has been made under  subsection (3) of this section, the amount  ordered to be refunded  may be levied  by  distress  and,  in  default  of  sufficient  distress,  the  person  defaulting  may  be committed  to prison by a Magistrates’  Court for  any term  not exceeding  three (3) months in addition to any sentence  imposed under the provisions  of subsection  (2) of this  Section.

45.     Rendering false returns

Any  Clerk  or  member   of  a  Customary   Court  who  shall  knowingly   render  false returns  of the  cases  tried  or the penalties  imposed by  such a Court  shall  be guilty  of an offence  and  shall  be  liable  on  conviction  before  a Magistrates’  Court  to  a fine  of Fifty Thousand  Naira  (NS0,000.00)  or to imprisonment  or other  correctional  remand  for  up to six  (6) months,  or to any non-custodial  sentence.

46.     Falsification  of the record of proceedings

Any   person   being   charged   with  the   duty   of  recording   the   proceedings   of  a Customary  Court in  accordance  with this Law or rules made  under section  47 of this law who knowingly  makes  a false record of the proceedings  of the Court shall be guilty of an offence  and shall be liable  on conviction by a Magistrate  Court to a fine of Fifty  Thousand Naira  (NS0,000.00)  or  to  imprisonment  or  other  correctional  remand  for  up  to  six  (6) months,  or to any non-custodial  sentence.

47.     Rules of Court

(1)     The  rules  applicable   to  the  Customary   Courts  are  as  set  out  in  Customary Courts Rules and any other relevant  rules as may be prescribed  from  time to time.

(2)     Subject to the provisions  of this Law, the Chief Judge may make rules-

(a)     regulating   the   practice   and   procedure   of  Customary   Courts   m  their original jurisdiction and in respect of appeal;

(b)     for the recording  of the proceedings  of Customary  Courts;

(c)     prescribing  the  powers   of  Customary   Courts  to  issue  process   for  the institution   of  causes   and   matters   and   to   compel   the   attendance    of defendants before the Court;

(d)     for the exclusion  of the public from a Customary  Court; (e)     regulating  the  issuance  of summons to witnesses;

(f)      providing  for-

(i)     the carrying  into execution  the orders of Customary  Courts,  whether such Customary  Courts  are established  under  this Law or under  any other written Law; and

(ii)    the  service  of the  process  of such  Courts  or class  of Courts,  where such  orders  are  made  or  such  processes   are  issued  in  respect  of persons   or  property   not   within   the   area   of  jurisdiction   of  the Customary  Court making  or issuing the same;

(g)    prescribing   the   Courts   or  authority  by  which   the  orders,   or  process mentioned   in  subparagraph  (ii)  of  paragraph   (f)   shall  be  carried   into execution or served;

(h)     regulating  any  matter  relating  to  the  costs  of  proceedings   in  Customary Courts;

(i)      prescribing and providing  for the maximum  fees which may be charged-

(a)     in Customary  Courts; and

(b)     for appeals  from such Customary  Courts.

(j)      the  reduction  of  such  maximum  fees  in  respect  of  all  or any  Customary Court proceedings;

(k)     the  application   of  such  maximum   or  reduced   fees  to  such  Customary Courts or proceedings  and the manner  in which, and the persons  by whom such reduction  and application  may be made;

(l)     the  remission  in  whole  or part  of any  maximum  or reduced  fee  and  the manner   in  which  and  the  persons  by  whom,  or  Customary   Courts  by which such remission may be made;

(m)    defining the duties  of any officer of Customary  Courts;

(n)     on the time  within  which  any act,  matter  or thing  shall be carried  out or performed  for the purposes  of this Law;

(o)     prescribing  the  powers  of  Customary   Courts  to  impose   consecutive   or concurrent  sentences  of imprisonment;  and

(p)    generally for the carrying  into  effect the provisions  of this  Law.

(2)     Any  rule  made  under  this  section  may  apply  to  all  Customary  Courts  or  a particular  Customary  Court as may be determined  under the rules.

48.     Transitional  provisions

Subject  to  the  provisions  of this  Law,  the  Chief Judge  may,  by  order,  make  such provisions   as  he  deems  fit  with  respect  to  causes  and  matters  which  originated  m  any Customary  Court before  the commencement  of this Law.

49.     Abolition of cadres of Customary Courts

(1)     There shall be only one cadre of Customary Court within the State.

(2)     All cadre and grades of Customary Courts existing prior to this Law shall no longer apply.

50.     Repeal

The Customary  Courts Law and Customary  Courts Rules, Cap. C19,  Laws of Lagos State  2004 are repealed.

51.     Interpretation

In this Law unless  the context otherwise requires:

“Attorney-General”  means the Attorney-General  of Lagos State;

“cause”  includes  any action,  suit or other  original  proceedings  between  a claimant and a defendant;

“Chief Judge” means the Chief Judge of Lagos State;

“Chief Registrar” means the Chief Registrar of the High Court of Lagos State;

“council” means a local  government council established by Law in Lagos  State;

“Customary Court” means a Court established or deemed to have been so established under this Law;

“Customary Law” includes Native Law and Custom and Islamic Law and Custom;

“matter” includes  any proceedings  in a Customary Court not in a cause;

“member” in  relation to Customary Court includes the President;

“native” in relation to the area of jurisdiction of a Customary Court means  a person who is  a member of a Community indigenous to that area;

“State” means Lagos State of Nigeria; and

“The  Commission” means the Judicial  Service  Commission  for Lagos State.

52. Citation and commencement

This Law may be cited as the Customary Court Law, and shall come into force on the day of 2011.




1.       Mode of commencement

(1)     Every cause or matter shall be commenced  by summons.

(2)    A cause or matter  shall  be instituted  in a Court that has jurisdiction  to entertain the particular  cause or matter.

2.       Application for  summons

(1)    Applications  for summons may be made orally or in writing.

(2)     If an application  for summons is made  in person,  the clerk  shall record  all the particulars  of the claim which are necessary  for the completion  of the proper summons.


3.       Quorum

For the  purpose  of hearing  a cause  or matter,  once  a quorum  has  been  formed  and the trial of a cause or matter  has commenced,  no other member  of the Court shall sit with those already sitting for the purpose of adjudicating upon the cause or matter.


1.       Issue  of summons

(1)     Any  fee  paid  in  respect  of the issue  of any process  or other  document  by the Court shall be entered  on the process  or other document  by the clerk or such  other person as may be authorised.          

(2)     Every  process or other document issued  by  the  Court  under  these  rules  or any other written  Law  such  as in Form  A of the  Second  Schedule  to  this  Law  shall  be  signed by the president or such  other  member or officer of the  Court  as may  be authorised.

2.       Service and execution of Court process

Any process or other document issued by the Court and requiring service or execution shall be served or executed upon  the person  to whom  reference is made  by  such officers as are authorised  by Law.

3.       Modes of service

(1)     Service   shall  be  effected  by  handing  the  process   or  other   document  to  the person to whom  it is addressed.

(2)    Where  it appears  to  a Court,  either  before  or after  a previous attempt  at service in accordance with  paragraph (1) of this  rule,  that  for any  reason,  personal service  of any process or other document cannot  be effected  conveniently, the  Court,  after  being  satisfied by affidavit that  it  is  necessary to do so, may  order that  service  be effected-

(a)     by  delivery of the  process  or other  document to  an agent  of the  person  to be  served   or to  some  other  person,  on  its  being   proved   that  there is  a reasonable  probability  that   the  copy   of  the  process  or  other document would  in the  ordinary course,  through  that  agent  or other person, come  to the knowledge of the person  to be served;

(b)     by  advertisement in some newspapers circulating within the Court’s jurisdiction;

(c)     by affixing  the process  or other  document at the  usual  or last known  place of abode  or business  of the person  to be served;  or

(d)    in such  other manner as the Court  may  direct;

and  on  compliance  with  such  order,  such  service   shall  be  deemed   to  be  good and sufficient  service  of the process  or other document.

(3)    The  Court  may  regard  any process or other document as served  if it  is satisfied that  the contents  of such process or other  document are known  to the person  served.

4.       Proof of service

(1)     Subject  to the  provisions of paragraph (2) of this  rule,  proof of service  shall  be by evidence  on oath.

(2)     In all cases where  service  of any process  or other  document  has been  effected by a bailiff or messenger,  a certificate  of service  signed by the bailiff or messenger  shall on production  and  without  proof of signature,  be  sufficient  proof of service,  unless  the contrary is proved.


Service and execution out of jurisdiction

1.       When  a Court  desires  any process  or other  document  to be  served,  or a decree  or Order to be enforced,  outside the limits  of its  territorial jurisdiction,  but within the State,  it shall  forward  such  process  or  other  document,  or  decree  or  order  to  the  Court  within whose  jurisdiction  the  process  or  other  document,  decree  or  order  is  to  be  served  or enforced,  as the case may be.

2.       Service and execution in areas where there are no Customary Courts

When a Court desires  any process  or document  to be served,  or a decree or order to be enforced,  outside the limits  of its jurisdiction,  but in  any area within the State  in  which no Court is established,  it  shall forward  such process or other document,  decree or order to the Magistrates’  Court having jurisdiction  within  that area  and the Magistrate  Court  shall proceed  in the manner provided  under order 3  of these rules.

3.       Process from the High Court or Magistrates’ Court within the State

When the High Court or a Magistrates’  Court desires any process  or other document to  be  served,  or  a  decree  or  order  to  be  enforced  anywhere  within  the  State,  the  High Court  or Magistrate  Court  may  forward  the  process  or  other  document,  or  order  to  the Customary  Court within whose jurisdiction the process or other document,  decree or order, is to be served, or enforced,  as the case may be.

(1)    If it is  only  the  claimant  in  a cause  or matter  that  fails  to  appear  when  it is called on the return day, the Court, unless there is  some good reason for keeping  the cause or matter on the list,  shall strike  it out.

(2)    If it  is only the defendant  in  a cause or matter that fails  to appear on the return day, the Court, unless there is  some good reason for  adjourning  the hearing  (in which  case the reason  shall be recorded  and a hearing date fixed)  shall, on proof of service, or if it is satisfied  that  the  hearing  date  is  known  to the  defendant,  proceed  in  the  absence  of the defendant  to hear  and determine the cause  or matter  on the evidence  of the claimant  and his witnesses,  if any.  Provided  that the  defendant has  filed  in the  Court  an admission  in writing  of the  claimant’s  claim,  the  Court  may  give judgment   for  the  claimant  without further proof of service  or of the claim.


1.       Oral  evidence  may be taken

At the hearing of any motion  the Court may receive  oral evidence  for or against the motion.

2.       Plea

The  subject  matter  of a claim  shall be read  out  by the clerk  to the defendant,  who shall  be asked how he pleads to it, and his answer shall be recorded.

3.       Plea of liability

Where  the  defendant  admits  the  claim,  the  Court  shall  hear  the  statements  of the parties and give its judgment.

4.       Plea  of non-liability

Where the defendant does not admit the claim, the claimant  shall adduce evidence  in support of his case.

5. Verdict

At the conclusion of the evidence  on both sides, the Court  shall  consider the whole eyidence  and give its judgment.


1.       Parties not appearing

If neither  party to a cause  or matter  appears  when  it is called on the return  day, the Court, unless there is  some  good reason for keeping  it on the list,  shall strike  out the cause or matter.

(a)     make  such  order as the  Court  may  deem  fit for the  inspection by the  Court,  the parties   or  any  witness,   of any  movable  or immovable  property,  the  inspection  of which may  be material to the proper determination of the  question in  dispute;  and

(b)    give such  direction as the Court may deem fit regarding such inspection.

40.     Supervision and control of Customary Courts

(1)     Customary  Courts   shall  be .under  the  general   supervision  and  control   of  the Commission-

(2)     The  Commission shall  appoint such  number of Customary Court  Inspectors as may   be  required,  provided  that   there   shall  be  no  less  than   five   (5)  Customary  Court Inspectors  in  the  State  who  shall  be  legal  practitioners  of not  less  than  seven  (7)  years’ post-call experience,  or retired  magistrates.

(3)     A  Customary Court  Inspector  shall  be  empowered to  supervise  administrative functions  in  the  Customary Court  in the  area  of his jurisdiction as  the  Commission may from  time  to time  direct and  he  shall  at all  times  have  access  to  the  Customary Courts  as well  as the records and proceedings of such  Courts.

41.     Contempt

(1)     Any person  who-

(a)     insults   a  Customary  Court   President  or  any   of  its  members  during   a sitting;

(b)     intentionally interrupts  the proceedings of a Customary Court  at any  stage; or

(c)     commits other  acts of contempt in the face of the  Court;

shall  be  guilty   of an  offence  and  shall  be  liable   on  conviction  to  a  fine  not exceeding  Five   Thousand  Naira    (NS,000.00)   or  to   imprisonment  or  other correctional  remand    for  up   to   fourteen  (14)  days   or  to   any   non-custodial sentence.

(2)     Any  Customary Court  subject to the powers  conferred on it by subsection  (1)  of this  section  may  order-

(a)     any  person   to  be   detained  in  prison   custody   or  in  a  rehabilitation  or correction centre;

(b)     that  any fine  which  it may  impose  shall  be paid  at such  time  or times  as it may think just and in  default payment;

6.       Amendment  of claim

The  Court  may,  at any  stage  before judgment,   on  application  by  any  party  to  the proceedings,  amend the particulars  of a claim if the Court is  satisfied that no injustice  will result.

7. Adjournment

The  Court  may  adjourn  only  once,  any  proceeding   where  the justice  of the  case permits.

Oral evidence  may be taken.


1.  Evidence to be on oath or affirmation

Every witness giving evidence before the Court shall be put on such oath as he declares  to be binding  on him, but if he objects to the taking  of an oath he shall affirm  that  the  evidence  he is  about  to give  is  the  truth;  and the  fact  that  a witness  has taken an oath or made an affirmation shall be recorded.

2.       Evidence of a child

The evidence  of a child who, in the opinion  of the Court, does not understand  the nature  of an oath, but understands  the duty of speaking  the truth,  may be received  by the Court,  although not given on oath.

3.       Examination  of witnesses

(1)    Every  witness  shall  first  be  examined  by the  party  calling  him  and  the  other party  shall  then  be  at  liberty  to  cross-examine   such  witness  who  may  thereafter  be re• examined  by the party calling him, as to matters arising  out of the cross-examination.

(2)     A witness may be questioned by the Court at any stage of the proceedings.

4.       Record of evidence

All oral evidence shall be recorded in the proper manner.

Customary Courts Law

5.       Court may order  deposit  of witnesses’   expenses

When  a Court,  on the application  of any party  to the proceedings  before  it,  directs that  a  person  should  be  summoned  to  give  evidence  or  produce  any  document  in  his possession,  the Court may order a deposit  of such  amount  of money  by the party  making the  application,  before the  issuance  of the  summons,  as will  cover  the  expenses  of such person in  so  attending  from the person making the testimony.

6.       Witnesses may be excluded  from  Court

A Court  may,  on the  application  of any party  to  a cause  or matter,  or of its  own motion,  order  witnesses  on  any  side  to  be  kept  out  of Court,  provided  that  the  parties themselves  shall not be  so ordered,  although  it  is  intended that  they  should  be called  as witnesses.

7.       Exhibits  and documents  to be kept by Court

(1)    All  documents  and  other  exhibits  admitted  in  evidence  by the  Court  shall  be retained  by the clerk until  an appeal  is  lodged  or the time within  which  an appeal  should be lodged  has elapsed,  whichever  is the earlier.

(2)   Where no appeal is lodged  within time, the clerk shall return the documents  and other  exhibits  to  the  parties   who  have  tendered   them  in  evidence,   unless  the  Court otherwise directs and shall retain an acknowledgement in writing of documents  collected.


1.       Bailiff to pay over  all money  received  to clerk

Every  bailiff  shall  pay to the clerk  at the close  of the day,  all monies  for  the time being in his hands.

2.       Returns  by the clerk

At the close of every week, the clerk shall-

(a)     make  a full  return  to  the  accountant  of  all writs  and  orders,  which  have  not been  fully  executed  by the  bailiff at the  end of the preceding  week,  and of all writs and orders,  that  have  been  entrusted  to the  bailiff for  execution  during  the  past  month,  and shall set against each of such process, a statement of what has been done; and

(b)   make a return of all monies received  by him during the past week.

3.       Inspection of bailiff’s  receipt books

(1)    The  clerk  shall  submit  to the  accountant  the  receipt  book  used  by the  bailiff during the past week, and the accountant  shall-

(a)     examine  the counterfoils of the receipts  and see that there is an entry on a counterfoil  to denote that a receipt  from the said book has been given  for each sum  acknowledged  to have been received;  and

(b)    ensure that all sums  for which receipts appear from the counterfoil  to have been given have been duly entered and accounted  for.

(2)    Subject to paragraph  (I) above, if satisfied with the entries, the accountant  shall certify the receipt book accordingly.

4. Proceeds of sale

Where property  is sold under  a writ of execution,  the proceeds  less  the expenses  of the sale,  shall be disposed of as follows-

(a)     the  amount  to  be  levied,  together  with  costs  paid  by  the judgment  creditor subsequent to the issue  of the writ, shall be paid to the judgment  creditor;  and

(b)    the balance  shall be paid to the judgment  debtor.


1.       Summons to show cause

On the application  of a judgment  creditor  for the enforcement of any order  for the payment  of money  by the judgment  debtor, the Magistrates’  Court shall issue a summons calling  upon  the judgment  debtor  to  appear  before  the  Court  on  a  day  and  at  an  hour specified  in the summons to show cause why he should not be committed  to prison.


1.       Sentences of imprisonment

(1)    When any person is  sentenced  to imprisonment,  the Court which  sentenced him shall  issue  a warrant  of committal  as in Form B, ordering  that the sentence  be carried  out in  a  prison   to  which   the   Court   has  power   to  commit  any  person,   such  prison  or correctional  centre  to be named  in the warrant  or any other  non-custodial  order  is made against him.

(2)    Such  warrant  shall be sufficient  authority to the bailiffs  and messengers  of the Court  or  the  police  to  convey  the  person  named  in  the  warrant  to  the  said  prison  or correctional  remand  and there  deliver  him to the officer  in  charge  and for  the said officer to keep the person committed for the period prescribed  in the warrant.

2.       Commencement

A sentence of imprisonment  shall commence  on the date on which  it  is  ordered and shall include  the whole of the commencement date.


1.       Notification  of appeal

A Court shall, on giving  its judgment  against  a person,  inform  such a person  of his right to appeal from such judgment.

2. Appeals

(1)    An  appeal  from  a  Court  to  an  Appeal  Court  shall  be  commenced   by  the appellant  giving  oral notice  of appeal  in open  Court  or filing  a copy  in the Court  whose order or judgment  is  being  appealed  from  a notice  of appeal  in  the Form C(i) or C(ii) set out in the Second  Schedule  within the time prescribed  by the  Law.

(2)    Where  a notice  of appeal  is  given  orally  in  open  Court,  the  appellant  shall, within  30 days, file in duplicate  a notice  of appeal  as in Form  C(i) or C(ii)  set out in the Second  Schedule,  in the Court whose judgment  or order is  being appealed  from,  within the time prescribed  by the Law.

3.       Court to specify  conditions of appeal

On receiving  the notice of appeal, the clerk of the Court shall file the same, and the Court shall  order as the circumstances  of the case may require-

(a)    a deposit of a sum of money  by the appellant  to cover  the costs of making  up and transmitting  the record of appeal;

(b)    a deposit or the entering  into  a recognisance  with  or without sureties,  for a sum of money to cover any costs which may have been awarded  in the Court or which may be awarded in  the appeal Court; and

(c)   the time within which the appellant  shall file particulars  of grounds of appeal in the Court as in Form C(iii).

4.       Failure to comply with conditions of appeal

If the appeal  Court is satisfied that an order made under rule 3  of this order has not been  complied  with,  the  appeal  Court  shall,  unless  it  extends  the  time  within  which  to appeal,  strike  out the appeal and may order the forfeiture  of any deposits  or recognisances in so far as it  appears to the Court to be necessary  to do so.

5.       Procedure  on receipt of notice of appeal

The clerk of the Court who receives a notice of appeal shall-

(a)    attach to the notice  a certified  true copy of the judgment or order to which  the notice refers;

(b)    endorse on the notice the cost of making up of the record of appeal;

(c)    within  10  days  of receiving the  same, forward the notice so endorsed, with a certified  true  copy of the judgment  or order  attached,  to  the  clerk  of the  Appeal  Court named in the notice; and the Court shall take  no further  action  in the appeal proceedings except by the direction  of the Appeal Court;  and

(d)   certify  to the Appeal  Court, the conditions  ordered  by the Court in  accordance with rule 3  of this  order.

6. Lower Court to forward  record

The  Court  shall  forward  the  record  of proceedings   in  the  cause  or  matter  on  the direction  of the Appeal  Court  and the  Comt  shall deduct  the cost of preparing  the record from  any deposit made by the appellant  for that purpose,  and shall pay to the appeal Court the balance (if any) and any other sum  of money which may have been deposited under an order made under this rule.

7. Court may vary conditions

An  order made by the Court under rule 3  may be varied  or amended  by a subsequent order of the Appeal Court.

8. Copy of proceedings

Any party to a cause or matter  shall  be entitled  to receive  a copy of the proceedings in the cause or matter  upon payment  of the appropriate  fee.


1.       Record  of proceedings

All proceedings including notes  of evidence given  before  the  Court  shall  be recorded in English  or in  any Nigerian language  in  the proper record books,  by the President of the Court.

2.       Copies of records

The  President shall  sign  the record  book  at the  end  of the  proceedings in each  cause or matter  and  at the end  of each  day’s  business.

(1)    Any  person  who  is  not  a  party  to  a  cause  or  matter  in  a  Court   shall  not  be entitled   as  of right  to  inspect  the  record  of proceedings  relating to  such  cause  or matter, but  such  person  may  apply  to the Court  to inspect  or obtain  a copy  of such  record;  and  his application  shall  state  what  document  he  desires  to  inspect  or copy  and  the  reasons   for making  the application.

(2)    The  Court  may,  m  its  discretion,  grant  such  application  on  such  terms  as  it deems  fit.

3. Record books

(1)    Every Court  shall  keep  cash  records and record of proceedings.

(2)    Every  Court  shall  keep  receipt  books  from  which  receipts   shall  be issued  for  all sums  paid  into  Court  funds.

4. Preservation of records

The  clerk  of the  Court  shall preserve all records  of the Court.

5. Fees payable for inspection of records

(1)    All inspection of records, whether or not by a party  to the cause  or matter,  shall be done under the  supervision  of the clerk or a member of the Court.

(2)    The fees to be paid in respect of inspection and for copies of records shall  not exceed  the appropriate prescribed fees.


1.       Costs at discretion of Court

(1)    A Court may in its discretion order full or reduced  costs to be awarded  to the successful party in  a cause or matter.

(2)    Where in  any  cause  or matter  any costs  would  be payable  to the Lagos  State Government or a local government council,  or its  agent or servant  who has  acted  in  the cause  of his duties  as such  agent  or servant, such costs,  unless  the  Court  sees  good and special  reason  to  direct otherwise, shall  be  ordered   to  be  paid  into  the  Lagos   State Government  Treasury  or Local Government  Council Treasury  as the case may be.

2.       Determination  of costs

Any Court  awarding  costs  shall whenever  possible  assess  the amount  of such costs summarily  and shall include  such amount in its  order.


1.  Fees

The fees prescribed in the Third Schedule shall  be  payable  in  the  circumstances specified  therein and lists  of such fees shall be exhibited  to the public  in  suitable  parts of the Court offices, provided  that-

(a)    the Court may, with the approval  of the Commission,  direct from  time to time that  such  other  fees,  not  exceeding   the  fees  prescribed  in  the  Third   Schedule,   as  it considers  suitable  in  a particular  class of cases, shall  be payable;  and where the Court has so directed,  only such fees  shall be payable;

(b)   the Court may remit all or part of the fees  payable  in particular  cases, where the Court  has  reason  to  believe  that  a person  has just  cause  for  complaint  and  that  he  is unable,  by reason  of poverty  or other sufficient  cause, to bring the same before  the Court; and

(c)    no additional  fee  shall be payable  on the issue  of a summons by reason only of the names of more than one defendant appearing  on such summons.

2.       Payment  of fees

The fee payable upon the issue  of any process or order of the Court, or on the doing of any act by the Court,  shall be paid  into  the Court funds before  the process  or order is issued or the act is done.


Use of forms

(1)    The forms set out in the Second  Schedule  or forms  to the like  effect may be used in all proceedings to which they are applicable with such variations as the circumstances may require.

(2)    The clerk shall keep a record  of every form  issued  by the Court by retaining  a copy of such form, and every such copy shall show accurately  all the details contained  in the form  at the time of issue.

(3)    The  Clerk  or  such  other  person as  the  Commission may appoint for  that purpose  shall  account for all monies received  by the Court.


1.  Interpretation

In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires-

“Appeal Court” includes a Magistrates’ Court;

“cause or matter” includes any legal proceedings between a  claimant and  a defendant  or between a petitioner and a respondent  in a matrimonial proceedings;

 “claim”  means  any  debt,  demand,  damage  or relief  claimed  or any  claim  for  the recovery of any chattel or thing sought to be recovered  in a Court;

“claimant”  means  any person  taking  civil proceedings  in  a Court against  any other person;

“clerk”   means  any  person  appointed   as  a  clerk  for  a  Court  m  accordance   with section  19  of the Law;

“Commission”  means the Lagos State  Judicial  Service  Commission;

“Court” means a Customary  Court established  under or in pursuance  of the Law, or deemed to have been so established;

“decree”  means an order made in  a matter relating  to Customary  Law marriage;

“defendant”  means any person against whom proceedings  are taken in a Court;

“judgment”  includes  the  dismissal  of any  cause  or  matter,  as  well  as  any  other decision of a Court;

“judgment  creditor” means  any  person  for  the  time  being  entitled  to  enforce  a judgment;

“judgment debtor” means  a person  who  is  liable under  a judgment,   and includes every  person  required  by  a judgment  or  order  in  a  civil  cause  or  matter  to  pay money or to do or abstain from doing an act;

“Law” means the Customary  Courts Law;

“motion” means an application  to  a Court  for an order  directing  something  to  be done in the applicant’s  favour;

“order” means a command or direction by a Court in any proceeding before it;

“President” means a President of the Court and includes a presiding   member selected in accordance with section 5 of the Law;

“proceedings” means all civil actions triable in a Court and  all  proceedings in relation to the making of an order for the payment of any sum  of money or for  the doing or abstaining from doing of any act or thing not enforceable  by  fine  or imprisonment in the first instance;

“process” means formal written authority of a Court for the  purpose  of giving compulsory effect to its jurisdiction and includes a summons, warrant or any other document issuing out of a Court for such purpose;

“return day” includes  any day fixed for any proceeding  before  the Court; and

“summons”  means a document  issued  by a Court calling upon the person  to whom it is  directed  to attend  before  the Court or to produce  any document  or thing to the Court at a certain time and place.

2.       Citation

These rules may be cited as the Customary Courts Rules 2011.




(1)    Unlimited jurisdiction in matrimonial causes  and other matters between persons married under Customary Law or arising from or connected with a union contracted under Customary Law and related matters.

(2)    Unlimited jurisdiction in suits relating to the guardianship and custody of children under Customary Law.

(3)   A Customary Court shall have jurisdiction in causes and matters relating to  inheritance upon intestacy and the administration of intestate estates under Customary Law provided that the Customary Court shall not have jurisdiction where  the  value of the property or claim exceed Five Hundred Thousand Naira  (N500,000.00).

(4)    A Customary Court shall have civil jurisdiction in other causes and matters as conferred under any bye-law passed by a local government provided the claim  does not exceed Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000.00).


(1)     A Customary Court shall only have jurisdiction to impose punishment authorised by law in respect of contempt of Court committed in the face of the  Court notwithstanding the provisions of any Law. The Court shall not exercise jurisdiction save as provided for in this Law.

(1)     A Customary Court shall only have jurisdiction to impose punishment authorised by law in respect of contempt of Court committed in the face of the Court notwithstanding the provisions of any Law. The Court shall  not  exercise  jurisdiction save as provided for in this Law.




Order 3, rule 1


Customary Court of.                                                                                                                      


Cause/matter  no.                                                 20             .

…………………………………………….. Claimant


…………………………………………….. Defendant

You are hereby summoned to appear at a Court holden at                                                        on the …………….. day of …………… 20 ……………………

At ………………………………… o’clock a.m.  to answer the  claimant’s  claim as follows:

Particulars  of claim

Fees paid                                                                                                                                           





Order  3,  rule  1


Customary  Court of…………………………………..                                                                   


Cause/matter  no ………………………………….          20…………

…………………………………..  Claimant


……………………………………. Defendant

You are hereby summoned to appear at a Court holden at …………………………………..

on the ……. day of ………… 20……………….

at ………………………………….. o’clock a.m. to answer the claimant’s claim as follows:

Particulars  of claim

Fees paid                                                                                                                                           



FORM A (iii)


Order 3, rule 1




In the ………………  Customary Court of …………………


………………………………….. Claimant

(if more than  one,  all should  be named)


………………………………….. Defendant

(if more than  one,  all should be named)

To (1) ………………………….                                                                                                                                                       

You  are to attend  before  this Court  sitting  at (2)

                             ………………………… day of ………….. 20 …………

at the hour  of  a.m./p.m. to testify  all that  you know  in the above  cause,  and to produce the following  documents, that  is  to say (3)…………………………                                                                                       

You are summoned  on behalf of the (4)…………………………                                                                               

Dated the ………. day of…………….. 20 …………….

                                    (Signature)                                                        .


(1)     Insert name of witness.

(2)     Insert place of sitting.

(3)     State details of documents to be produced by the witness.

(4)     Insert plaintiff or defendant as the case may be.


Order 10, rule 1(1)


No                                      .

In the Customary Court of ……………………………..

To all bailiffs and messengers and members of the Nigeria Police and the officer in charge OF (1) ………………………………. Prison or any correctional remand centre.

Where (2) ……………………… referred to as the Defendant was before this Court sitting at (3) ……………………………….. on the …… day of …… 20 ……… convicted in that he did.

And it is adjudged  that  the defendant, for his  said  offence,  be                                  imprisoned at (1) …………………………. for the period of (4) ………………………..

Now  therefore,  you  the  said  bailiffs and  messengers and  the  said  members of the  Nigeria police  or other  officers are ordered to convey  the defendant to the  said ………………………. prison  or ……………………  correctional remand  centre  and there to deliver him to the officer in charge.

And you the said officer in charge of the said prison or correctional remand centre  are  ordered to  receive   the  said  defendant  into  your custody and keep  him  for the above-stated period.

DATED the ……………. day of ………….. 20 ………………..       

(Signature)…………………………..                                      .


(1)     Insert name of prison or correctional remand centre.

(2)     Insert name of convicted person.

(3)     Insert the place of sitting.

(4)     State length of sentence.

FORM C (i)

Order  11, rule 2



Customary Court of                                                                                                                         


Cause/matter no.                                                            20 ……………………

…………………………………….. Claimant appellant/respondent


…………………………………….. Defendant appellant/respondent

TAKE NOTICE that the claimant  (or defendant) appeals from the decree or Order dated the ………….. day of ……… 20 ………… in the above-mentioned proceedings.

The address  for  service  of the said claimant/defendant  appellant  within  the jurisdiction  of the Court is                                                                                                                                      

DATED the …………….. day of ……………. 20 ……………………

Fees paid


To                                                                          of                                           NOTES:  The notice  must be filed with the clerk of the Court within  30  days of the order appealed from and served on all parties affected by the appeal.

Form or grounds of appeal is set out in Form E (iii).

FORM C (ii)

Order 11, rule 2



…………………………………………….. Complainant/respondent


…………………………………………….. Defendant/appellant

TAKE NOTICE that the defendant appeals  against the conviction/sentence by the Court pronounced on the …………………… day of ………………. 20 ……………….. in the above-mentioned proceedings.


Offence convicted of                                 Date of conviction

Sentence and date

………….  Prison or correctional remand centre  where  appellant is           

This notice of appeal is given  by …………. of …………. (who wishes to be present at the hearing).

DATED the ……….. day of …………                                                       

Fees paid


To the clerk of the Court.

NOTES:  This notice must be filed with the clerk of the Court within 30 days of the decree or order appealed from and served on all parties affected by the appeal. Form of grounds of appeal is set out in Form E (iii).

FORM C (iii)

Order 11, rule 3



Customary Court of …………………………………..

DIVISION  …………………………………..

Cause/matter  no.                                                  

………………………………………………… Claimant appellant/respondent


……………………………………..  Defendant appellant/respondent

This is my memorandum of grounds of appeal in connection  with my notice of Appeal

Dated 20             .

Grounds of appeal

DATED the ……….. day of …………….. 20 …………………

Fees paid to clerk of Court






1.       (a) On issue  of summons

where claim  does  not  exceed  N5,000.00                                        50 00

(b)     On issue of summons relating to inheritance upon intestacy administration of       intestate estate where value of property or claim                 

(i)      Not exceeding N50,000.00                                                       150 00

(ii)     Between N50,000.00 – N 100,000.00                                       250 00

(iii)    Between N 100,000.00 – N250,000.00                                              500 00

(iv)    Between N250,000.00 – N 500,000.00                                              750 00

2.       On issue of summons where claim is not for the recovery of money or goods         but for some other relief or assistance.                                       500 00

3.       On issue of judgment debtor summons                                              50 00

4.       On drawing up of formal decree                                                         200 00

5.       On issue of summons for witness                                             50 00

6.       for C T C of:         

(a)     Court records or proceedings (per page)                                   25 00

(b)     Ruling (per page)                                                                     50 00

(c)     Judgment (per page)                                                                50 00

7.       for swearing to an affidavit or making a declaration                            50 00

8. (a)           For service of any process or document including hearing notice per party   within the Court district                                                                   30 00

(b)     Additional payment per kilometre                                              150 00

9.       Exhibit (per exhibit)                                                                  50 00

10.     For searching the archive                                                                   250 00

11.     Witnesses fees and allowances per day                                    500 00

(Travelling expenses of witnesses shall be allowed having regard to the sums reasonably and actually spent.)


1.       On filing notice and grounds of appeal:

(a)     if within time                   250 00

(b)     if out of time                            500 00

2.       On making up and supplying record of appeal for every 100 words     50 00

3        For the transmission of the appeal:

(a)     if sent by post ……………………………… Amount paid thereof

(b)     if transmitted  by bailiff or special bailiff as in (9) above


The following are exempted from the payment of fees specified in this schedule:

1.       all departments of the State Courts;

2.       all local government councils.



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