DAILY LAW TIPS by Onyekachi Umah,Esq. (Tip 241) “NO COMPANY IN NIGERIA CAN BE SERVED COURT PROCESSES BY SUBSTITUTED MEANS.”
DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
“NO COMPANY IN NIGERIA CAN BE SERVED COURT PROCESSES BY SUBSTITUTED MEANS.”
Contrary to common opinion/practise among fellow lawyers, no company in Nigeria can be served by substituted means. Substituted means is employed where personal service of court processes on natural being(human being) fails or may fail. Companies and corporations are not natural/human beings and as such personally service cannot be effected on them. Since personal service cannot be effected on companies, there can never be substituted service on companies. The Companies and Allied Matters Act as well as Rules of different courts, have provided clear means of serving court processes on companies in Nigeria. This includes service on Officers of Companies or delivering/leaving such on registered office or branch offices of companies without needing an order of any court for substituted service. Hence, Lawyers should stop wasting time in court seeking for order of substituted service on companies!
My authorities are section 78 of Companies and Allied Matters Act, Rules of all Courts in Nigeria and the Judgments in the following Supreme Court and Court of Appeal cases;
1. MARK V. EZE (2004) 5 NWLR (PT. 865) 54, (SC)
2. NBC PLC V. UBANI (2014) NWLR, PT. 1398 at 421, (SC)
3. PLASTEX (NIG) LTD V. MAINLAND OIL & GAS (2018) LPELR-43509(CA),
4. OBADINA & ORS V. FASOYINRO (2017) LPELR-42182(CA),
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Onyekachi Umah is a husband and a private legal practitioner with amazing experience in criminal law, human rights, intellectual property, transaction and regulation advisory, corporate, commercial and investment law and energy law as well as litigation and arbitration arising from them. He is a certified arbitrator both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a Certified Conflict Management Practitioner. He is a member of prestigious “Young ICSID” of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Washington DC. Among other, he has a certificate in Law of Contract from a program of Harvard University, a certificate in International Environmental Negotiation from United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Geneva and recently, a certificate in Conflict Management from United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C. He also holds a master of laws degree from University of Jos and he is a doctoral student at the faculty of law, Nassarawa State University.
He is the managing partner of a leading law firm; Bezaleel Chambers International. He is the founder and President of a free law awareness platform known as www.LearnNigerianLaws.com that promotes awareness and understanding of rights and laws of Nigeria (#SabiLaw) and offers free daily law tips (#DailyLawTips). Understanding the challenges of Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria, he dedicates his daily law tips every Mondays to promoting Criminal Justice (#CriminalJusticeMonday). Recently, he started a new series on Election Laws tagged (#SabiElectionLaws) to increase legal awareness on elections laws, policies and regulations in Nigeria. He is the convener of the Sabi Law Lecture Series (#SabiLawLectureSeries), travelling around Nigeria delivering free law awareness lectures. He also organises and sponsors a quarterly competition, titled "Sabi Law Video Challenge" (#SabiLawVideoChallenge) were Nigerians win money (over $130.00 per winner) for making videos of themselves talking on any law or right as a way to promote law awareness and have fun. To further promote legal awareness among Nigerians across the world, he started a law awareness show titled "Sabi Law With Onyekachi Umah, Esq" (#SabiLawWithOnyekachiUmahEsq) showing on social media platforms via @LearnNigerianLaws.
Mr. Umah has written over Three Hundred (300) free to access articles and materials on law with a desire to enlighten the public. He is also the Assistant Secretary of Nigerian Bar Association, Capital Bar, Abuja and a member of the Rotary Club of Abuja, Metro (RCAM), District 9125. Among others, he is serving as a member of the Advisory Committee for Law Clinics Partnership for Reforming Pre-trial Detention in Kuje Prison Project funded by the United States Department Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. He has been featured as the Legal Personality of the Week by This Day Newspaper (a leading national newspaper) on its September 11, 2018 edition and was featured on the NigeriaLawyer.com as the Legal Personality of the Week on November 14, 2018. He has won several honours and awards for his innovative legal practise across the world.
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