Appeal Across Appellate Courts In Nigeria; Time and Procedure

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    By Lawrence Ezeali

    (1) APPEAL FROM MAGISTRATE/DISTRICT COURTS

    Notice of Appeal

    • Notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the decision appealed against. For interlocutory decisions, notice must be filed within 15 days of delivery of
    • Notice of appeal against the sentence for canning must be filed within 15 days of the sentence.
    • Where a Respondent intends the confirmation or variation of the judgement on other grounds, Notice of Appeal must be filed within 14 days.

    Compilation and Transmission of Record

    • In civil matter within Lagos jurisdiction, the Registrar of the lower court prepares the record of appeal with “UTMOST DISPATCH “
    • In Abuja, the Registrar compiles the record of proceeding with the notice of appeal within 3 months and forward same to the High Court within 7 days.

    Brief of Argument

    • In Abuja, the Appellant must file Brief of Argument within 21 days, while the Respondent must file Brief of Argument within 14 days of service of the Appellant Brief. The Appellant may file Reply within 7 days of service of the Respondent Brief.
    • In Lagos State, the Appeal can be abandoned by filing Notice of Abandonment which is filed within 2 clear days from the date of hearing.

    (2) APPEAL FROM HIGH COURT TO COURT OF APPEAL

    Notice of Appeal

    • Notice of Appeal must be filed within 3 months for final decision and 14 days for interlocutory decisions.
    • In criminal matters, the appellant must file Notice of Appeal within 90 days.

    Compilation and Transmission of Record

    Civil Matters

    • The Registrar compiles the Record of Appeal and transmit same to the Appellate Court within 60 days for a final appeal and 7 days for interlocutory appeal.
    • On the Registrar’s default, the Appellant compiles within 30 days of such
    • Where both the Registrar and Appellant default, the Respondent may move to have the appeal dismissed or apply to compile the Record.
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    Criminal Matters

    • The Registrar summons the parties to settle records within 14 days.
    • He compiles and transmits the record within 60 days. Where he fails to do so, the Appellant may compile and transmit the Record within 30 days of his failure.

    In both Criminal and Civil cases, the Respondent may compile and transmit additional Record within 15 days if he feels some Record were omitted.

    Brief of Argument

    • Appellant must file 10 copies of Brief of Argument within 45 days of receipt of the Record of Appeal.
    • Respondent must also file Brief of Argument within 30 days of receipt of the Appellant Brief
    • Appellant may file his reply within 14 days
    • Same time limit applies in criminal matters.

    (3) SUPREME COURT

    Notice of Appeal

    Notice of Appeal from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court is filled within 30 days  of Judgment.

    Compilation and Transmission of Record

    • The Registrar of the court below compiles the Record within 6 months.
    • For interlocutory matters, decisions relating to summary judgment, the Appellant must compile and transit the Record within 14 days of filling the Notice of Appeal. The Respondent may compile and transmit additional Records within 7 days.

    Brief of Argument

    • Appellant must file Brief of Argument within 10 weeks of receiving the Record of Appeal.
    • Respondent must file Brief of Argument within 8 weeks of receiving the Appellant Brief of Argument.
    • Appellant may file a Reply Brief within 4 weeks of receiving the Respondent Brief.
    • Adoption of brief of argument, must be done within 15 minutes.
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    This article is only intended to provide general information on the subject matter.

     

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