As a young lawyer practising in Lagos, do you know how to file a process at the NIC?
The National Industrial Court (NIC), Lagos division is located at Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos State. If you are heading to the court from the Lagos Mainland, your first stop should be Obalende bus-stop. From Obalende, you can link Glover road and make a turn into Lugard Avenue and you will find the National Industrial Court sitting pretty.
WHAT SHOULD YOU FILE AT THE NIC?
Of course, you should know that the National Industrial Court has jurisdiction over matters in sec 254 (C) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Its jurisdiction can be civil or criminal in nature over matters bordering on labour and employment matters. Nevertheless, NIC is a court with special criminal jurisdiction.
An aggrieved party is to commence an action by way of a complaint alongside other documents as provided for in the rules of the National Industrial Court. A defendant is to enter a Memorandum of Appearance together with other necessary documents.
THE FILING PROCESS
The filing process at the NIC, Ikoyi, Lagos is hectic.
- Go the registry and cost your process.
- Generate remita payment code on your phone.
- Payment must be made physically at the bank outside the court. The walking distance between the court and the bank is about 50km to and fro. However, if you are mobile, then good for you.
- Proceed to the cash office and change your computer-generated receipt to the official NIC receipt.
- Go back to the registry for stamping and acknowledgement.
- If your process has an affidavit included, the deponent must be physically present with at least two (2) passports. N.B: NIC will not attend to you if you fail to come with your witness and/or passport.
- Take your process to the bailiff section and mobilise the bailiff for service.
- Collect the receipt and proceed back to the registry.
- Collect your office copy
- and you are done.
The filing process could be more stressful if you made an error in your process and you have to correct it immediately due to time constraint. Again, there is no commercial business centre at the NIC. This means that you would have to go back to the secretariat to do all that and then return to the NIC for filing.
The registrars at the NIC close work officially at 3pm. Thus, you have to be sharp.
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Chinecherem Ubaka is a Legal Practitioner based in Lagos. She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.