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Minimum Period For Defence Of Undefended List Case In Abuja

Minimum Period For Defence Of Undefended List Case In Abuja: Faster Means of Debt Recovery. Daily Law Tips (Tip 512) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

While cases in courts (litigation) in Nigeria may take almost forever, there is a shortcut for recovery of debt cases. A person that is being owed (creditor) can easily and quickly recover his money from the person owing him (debtor) in a High Court through the “UNDEFENDED LIST” procedure or in a Magistrate Court through “Default Summons” procedure. By these procedures, recovery of debt case can start and end in a day.

Undefended List procedure and Default Summons procedure are used for quick recovery of debts where a claimant (creditor) believes that his defendant (debtor) has no defence whatsoever. The minimum period for a defendant to file a defence or be deemed to have agreed to be owing the claimant seems to make the Undefended List Procedure fast and attractive.

In the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, where a defendant is served with court processes of a case filed under the Undefended List procedure, such a defendant is expected to file a Notice of Intention to Defend (ie. if such defendant intends to oppose the case). Notice of intention to defend must be filed together with an affidavit disclosing a sufficient defence. These must be filed before 5 days to the hearing date of the case. Where the court sees merit in the Notice of Intention to Defend and Affidavit filed by a defendant, the court may move the case from Undefended List to Ordinary Cause List for proper full hearing and determination of the case on merit.

Where Notice of Intention to Defend as well as an affidavit of defence is not filed, court may proceed to give judgement in favour of the Claimant (Creditor).


Order 35 of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (Civil Procedure) Rules 2018.










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