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High Court of Lagos State

Practice Directions








Issuing authority



Execution of Judgments and Orders

J.I.C. Taylor. CJ

6th January 1977

Practice Notes

J.A. Adefarasin. CJ

1st March 1997


S.O. Ilori. CJ

1st May 2001

PD/II/C.1/LS No 1 of 2001

Creation of Specialised Divisions

C.O. Segun. CJ




Execution of judgments and Orders



The Honourable the Chief Justice has directed that as a rule of practice, no execution shall be carried out by the Deputy Sheriff in respect of any judgment from the Magistrates’ Court where:


(i)    there is a pending appeal and/or


(ii)    there is an application before the Court relating to the said judgment until the appeal or application is finally disposed of.


Application for stay of Execution in Civil Matters


1.    Case of landlord and Tenant:


(a)    Order for Possession: Stay to be granted where:


(i)    there is a pending appeal

(ii)    there is an application for stay of execution

(iii)    there is an order for possession made on ground other than ground for arrears of rents.


(b)    Arrears of rents: Stay may be refused unless there is a genuine controversy relating to liability in which case order may be made for the judgment rents when due.


If an order for possession is made on the ground of arrears of rents Stay may be refused in respect of the rents but granted in respect of the Order for possession subject to certain conditions imposed as to payment of future rents.


2.    To all other cases: Stay may be refused or granted depending on the merits of each case. The Deputy Sheriff will however take no action to enforce the judgment in cases where an application for a stay is pending.




Honourable Justice J.I.C. Taylor

Chief Justice







Practice Notes


1.     All motions for hearing in the week following must be filed in the High Court Registry by 12.00 noon on the proceeding Wednesday. The Registrar will depart from this practice only in cases of extreme urgency and on the instructions of the Chief Registrar acting with the approval of the Chief Judge.


2.     All applications made to the High Court Registry by members of the Bar must be in typed form and on the proper paper.


3.     Application by way of motions and summons should contain at the top of the motion paper the order and rule under which the application is brought.


4.     Applications brought at a time when the substantive Suit is brought before a particular Judge for hearing or is part heard should in addition to practice note 3 also contain this additional information including the name of the Judge in question.


5.     Under no circumstances should Counsel for one party endeavour to see a Judge in Chambers about a matter before the Judge in the absence of Counsel for the other side.


6.     Communications about matters in Court should never be addressed to the Judge directly but to the Registrar of the High Court, or the Clerk of Court in an urgent case which is already before a Judge.


7.     Counsel must, before the hearing of a case, supply the Court with a typed list, of the authorities to be cited by Counsel during the hearing of the particular case.


8.     It is wrong for Counsel in contentious matters, except when requested by the Court, to swear to an affidavit in support of an application filed and to be argued by them as Counsel for one of the Parties, unless the application be of a nature of the application for leave to appeal, extension of time to comply with an order for pleadings and the like.


9.     With the exception of Senior Counsel whose names are well known to the Bench, a Counsel announcing himself, for a Plaintiff or Defendant in a Cause or matter should address the Court in this manner:


"May it please my Lord (or my Lady or Your Lordship or Your Ladyship) I appear for the ………………. Williams is my name"




"My Lord (or Lady or Your Lordship or Your Ladyship) Williams for the ………….."


10.    Should it be necessary to refer to a Judge by name or so address a letter to him or her the Judge should be addressed as follows:


"The Honourable Justice ……………………………"

(The manner of addressing a Judge, male or female, being now the same).


11.    Counsel practicing in the same Chambers should announce themselves as appearing for the Plaintiff or the Defendant and not as holding the brief of the Senior Practitioners.


12.    Counsel appearing in a case should only give the name of Counsel who are present in Court and are appearing with such Counsel in the case. A Counsel who comes later on during the hearing or conduct of a case may be announced on his entry as one also appearing in the case.


13.    It is improper for Counsel to hold the brief of another Counsel in any Suit or application without being properly and fully briefed in the matter.


14.    Consequent upon the provisions of Section 29 of the Land Instruments Registration Law, Cap. 64 of the Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, files containing deeds and titles and documents relevant thereto in the custody of the Registrar of Titles will not be made available by the Registrar for production in evidence in Court. Counsel and parties in Land Cases in Court should make the fullest use of Section 29 of the Law and Section 74(2) of the Registration of Titles Law Cap. 121 of the Laws of Lagos State.


Introduced on the 6th day of January 1977


Honourable Justice J. A. Adefarasin

Chief Judge






Practice Directions


The High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Law, Cap. 61 Laws of the Lagos State 1994


1.    Order 44, Rules 17 to 22:


i.     The jurisdiction vested in the Chief Registrar under Order 44 Rules 17 to 22 of the High Court Law shall be exercised in the Lagos and Ikeja Judicial Divisions by the Chief Registrar and two Deputy Chief Registrars in each Judicial Division.


ii.    The Chief Registrar’s list shall be published weekly with the Cause List.


2.    Order 36 Rule 1:  Motion for Judgement:


i.     The practice referred to as "Registry Judgment" is hereby abolished.


ii.     All applications for judgement be they for default of appearance, pleadings, or for any matter whatsoever shall be by Motion On Notice to be served on the adverse party or his legal practitioner.


iii.     All motions for Judgment shall be heard in open Court by a Judge.


iv.     No Judgment shall be delivered or obtained without satisfactory proof of service of the motion for judgement.


3.    Order 7 Rule 1: Service of Writs of Summons and other documents:


i.     Legal Practitioners who have been enrolled as Solicitors and Advocates of the Supreme Court of Nigeria for at least 10 years, may either individually or for his firm apply to the Chief Judge of Lagos State for appointment of Special or General "Process Server".


ii.     The Process Server appointed may be authorised to serve Writs of Summons, Originating Summons, Notices, Petitions, Pleadings, Orders, Summons, Warrants, and all others proceedings, documents or written communications of which service is required under the High Court of Lagos State Civil Procedure Law.


iii.    A person to be appointed as a Process Server under this dispensation shall:


(a)    be of good education and hold qualification not lower than an Ordinary National Diploma, or a Diploma in Law or Certificate of any University in Nigeria.


(b)    be of good character. The application in respect of him shall be supported by three character references by a Legal Practitioner; a Clergyman , a Senior Civil Servant or a member of a recognised profession;


(c)    The process Server shall be appointed for one year only. His appointment may be renewed annually;


(d)    The appointment and renewal of the appointment of a Process Server shall be at the entire discretion of the Chief Judge of Lagos State and upon payment of the prescribed fee;


(e)    Any appointment under this dispensation may be determined by the Chief Judge at this discretion.



4.    Order 54:  Change of Counsel:


i.      No application for change of Counsel shall be granted until there is proof of service of the application therefor on the former Counsel.


Issue of writs not in initials


Same as for Affidavits


These Practice Directions shall be referred to as Lagos State High Court Practice Direction No 1 of 1997 (CJHCLS/PD/1/97) and shall come into effect on the 1st March 1997.



5.    Section 90(b),(e) & (f):


i.      An affidavit shall state the full name, trade, or profession, residence and nationality of the Deponent. It shall be in the first person and shall be signed by the Deponent.


ii.     The Commissioner for Oaths shall not accept for swearing any affidavit made in initials, presented for swearing by a person other than the Deponent, or otherwise not in compliance with (i) above.



6.    Issue or Originating Process:


i.      All originating processes shall be issued in the full names of the parties. The Court shall not accept for filing any originating process which does not sufficiently identify the parties by their full names.



These Practice Directions shall be referred to as Practice Directions No. PD/II/C.1/LS No I of 1997 and shall come into force on ………………………..


Honourable Justice S. O. Ilori

Chief Judge






PD/ II /C.1/LS No 1 of 2001

Creation of Specialised Divisions



Pursuant to the powers conferred on me by the provisions of Section 53(2) & (3) High Court Law, Cap 60, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, the following Divisions are hereby created for specialization to enhance efficiency



The Criminal Division


The Criminal Division of the High Court to handle cases involving indictable offences instituted as provided for by Section 77(b) of Criminal Procedure Law or by Private Prosecution under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Law.


The Land Division


This Division shall deal with all cases and matters arising from or appertaining to issues of title to land.



The Probate and Family Division


This division shall deal with cases of Divorce, Custody of children, Matrimonial matters, Administration of Estates and Wills.


The Commercial Division


This Division shall deal with cases and matters arising from Banking, Contract, Companies, Revenue, etc, in so far as jurisdiction has not been exclusively conferred on the Federal High Court by virtue of Section 251 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.


General Civil Division


All other cases that do not fall within the broad categorisation above shall be evenly distributed to all other judges not presiding over any of the aforesaid Divisions.


These Practice Directions shall be referred to as Practice Directions No PD/ II /C.1/LS No 1 of 2001 and shall come into force on the 1st day of May 2001.


Hon. Justice C.O. Segun

Chief Judge