*CAN A CHILD SUE HIS/HER PARENTS FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE FOR HIM/HER?* Daily Law Tips (Tip 529) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

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Child rights are protected by the constitution of Nigeria and also the Child’s Rights Act. Parents and guardians have enormous rights and duties over their children. Care, provision and maintenance of child is not only a moral duty but a statutory duty of parents/guardians. In Nigeria, CHILD is a person under the age of 18 years.

Every child in Nigeria has rights to parental care, protection and maintenance by his parents/guardians. However, parents/guardians must care, protect and maintain their children according to the parents/guardians means of livelihood. Hence, where child is not cared for and maintained according to his parents’/guardians’ extent of means of livelihood, such a child can sue his parents/guardians in a family court for enforcement of his rights to care, protection and maintenance.

Note that, it is immaterial that parents of child are divorced or living apart, parents must ensure their child is cared for and maintained according to their means at all times. In practise, this could be used by a parent to sue another parent where both are divorced and the richer parent has refused to care and fund their child.

My authorities are sections 14, 277 and 278 of the Child Rights Act, 2003.

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