Product liability—Nigeria—Q&A guide

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Product liability—Nigeria—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the structure of the civil court system?
  • 2. What is the role of the judge in civil proceedings and what is the role of the jury?
  • 3. What are the basic pleadings filed with the court to institute, prosecute and defend the product liability action and what is the sequence and timing for filing them?
  • 4. Are there any pre-filing requirements that must be satisfied before a formal lawsuit may be commenced by the product liability claimant?
  • 5. Are mechanisms available to the parties to seek resolution of a case before a full hearing on the merits?
  • 6. What is the basic trial structure?
  • 7. Are there class, group or other collective action mechanisms available to product liability claimants? Can such actions be brought by representative bodies?
  • 8. How long does it typically take a product liability action to get to the trial stage and what is the duration of a trial?
  • 9. What is the nature and extent of pretrial preservation and disclosure of documents and other evidence? Are there any avenues for pretrial discovery?
  • More...

Product liability—Nigeria—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to product liability in Nigeria published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Ajumogobia & Okeke—Babatunde A Sodipo

1. What is the structure of the civil court system?

The structure of the civil court system is set out in the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended). The courts of record, in order of hierarchy, are the Supreme Court (the highest appellate court), the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court, the state high courts and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Nigeria is divided into 36 states. Each state and the FCT has a high court where civil cases are instituted. Product liability claims are usually instituted in these courts. Courts with summary jurisdiction over small civil claims are called magistrate courts in southern Nigeria and district courts in northern Nigeria. These courts are established under the laws of each state. Appeals from judgments of the magistrate and district courts lie to the state high courts and the High Court of the FCT.

The Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction over specific subject matters, such as intellectual property, admiralty, mines and minerals, revenue-related matters to which the federal government or its agencies are parties and taxation, banking, etc. The National Industrial

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