Law Reform: Pius Danba, Esq., Advocates For Grant Of Order Of Substituted Service, Without Motion, Upon Affidavit Of Court Bailiff That A Party Cannot Be Found

 



 

An Abuja based lawyer, Pius Danba, Esq., has argued that the Rules of Court can be amended such that upon affidavit of Court bailiff that a party cannot be found, then an order for substituted service should be automatically issued.

 

The lawyer made this statement in his work, “Simple judicial reforms with amazing results for clients and lawyers”, which he posted on his Facebook wall on the 3rd of October, 2021. According to him, justice delivery is very slow in Nigeria; and that there are few laws and practices to change to free up judicial time and get cases moving fast and dispute resolved. While talking to clients, he noted that clients should not be too smart to keep their lawyers out of transaction, that though the client may know his business, the lawyer knows the laws and information that will keep the client’s business safe and secured.

 

“In your business, transactions and deals get legal forms that collect all necessary information about your customers, clients, business partners, investors or fund managers. Don't act too smart to keep your lawyer out of the transaction. There is no doubt that you know your business but the lawyer knows the laws and information that will keep your business safe and secured. You never can tell when you will need what information.

 

“I have discovered most clients who consult a lawyer usually do not have all the information that they should have collected at the time of the transaction. Thus, time is wasted looking or digging or trying to get what your lawyer would have advised you to get at time of the transaction. This could be as simple as full address, alternative address, phone number, email, identification card or banking details. The list is long. A lawyer will help.”

 

“Lawyers in Nigeria spent time on something called motion for substituted service. It is in law and practice that Court documents must be served personally on parties. Where a party cannot be found, a lawyer goes to court, files motion for substituted service, apply for date to hear the motion, goes to court to argue the motion, get the enrol order before the court documents are served. This can take 2-3 months in High Courts, 1-2 years in Court of Appeal and even 3-4 years in Supreme Court. Yes, 3-4 years.

 

“By way of suggested reform, the Rules of Court can be amended such that upon affidavit of Court bailiff that a party cannot be found, then an order for substituted service is automatically issued. This can be done in a day. In alternative, a form can be created to be filled, upon which the order for substituted service is made automatically. This can be done in a day like applying for subpoena. This will free up some time for both lawyers and court to concentrate on contentious issues,” he said.

 

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