FAQ’S FOR NAIJA LEGAL TALK
Why do I need a contract?
It is always wise to have a written contract which clearly outlines the terms, intentions and obligations of parties to the agreement as it leaves little room for a party to deny agreeing to certain terms and is legally enforceable.
If I am served a Notice to Quit, do I still have to pay rent?
A Notice to Quit is a reminder that your tenancy will soon expire and if your landlord accepts rent from you after issuing the notice, that rent nullifies the Notice to Quit as it signifies that a new tenancy has begun. However, the landlord can collect arrears of rent owed after issuing the notice without nullifying the Notice to Quit.
Can I protect my business ideas from being stolen?
Before sharing your business ideas with others, it is best to have a Confidentiality Agreement or Non-Disclosure Agreement in place and signed by that person. The NDA prohibits the other party from disclosing or using your idea without your permission and is legally binding and enforceable in a court of law.
If I quit my job, is there anything stopping me from soliciting my former employers clients and contacts?
If you signed an employment contract with your former employer with a restrictive covenant or clause specifically prohibiting you from soliciting their clients and contacts after termination of employment, it is legally binding and enforceable where the period of restriction is reasonable.
Will I be charged with murder if I accidentally kill an armed robber who attacks me?
The Nigerian Criminal Code provides for the circumstances where a person will be charged with murder and death caused by self-defense from someone wishing to do you grievous harm is not one of them. Depending on the circumstances that led to the death of the armed robber, you would either be charged with manslaughter or let off on the grounds of self-defense.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
The major difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the punishment attached to them. Under the Nigerian Criminal code, a felony is an offense which is punishable without proof of previous conviction with death or imprisonment for three years or more while a misdemeanor is a less serious offense punishable with not less than six months but less than three years imprisonment.
Are all Nigerian government officials protected from criminal proceedings?
Only the officials named in the immunity clause of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are protected from criminal proceedings while holding office, namely: The President, Vice-President, Governor, and Deputy Governor.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a symbol or sign that separates the goods and services of one business from another business and protects the identity and recognition of a brand.
Is it only old people that can make wills and from what age?
There is no age limit to making wills and anyone who owns any type of property can make a will detailing how he/she wishes to bequeath his/her property after death.
Who does the law consider to be a child?
Under the various Child Rights laws in Nigeria, particularly the Childs Right Act, a child is a person under the age of eighteen years.
Do I require collateral to borrow money from microfinance banks?
Unlike commercial banks, microfinance banks do not require collateral to grant loans to low-income individuals.
If my brother commits a crime and runs away, can the police arrest and detain me?
Despite the wide powers granted the Police under the Police Act, they do not have the right to arrest you for an offence committed by another person no matter your relationship with that person.
How long can the police detain me before taking me to court?
If you are detained by the police for any offence other than one punishable by death, you cannot be held for more than 24 hours before being brought before a court within forty kilometers having jurisdiction or a period of two days in any other case.
Is gossip a freedom of expression?
While it is your right to have a personal opinion of others, where that opinion is false and publicly expressed to the harm of the person’s reputation and good name, it becomes a violation of that person’s rights.
Do I have the right to hold a rally and protest an injustice?
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees the right to protest and hold rallies as long as the subject matter is legal and the protests are carried out in a peaceful and non-violent manner at a reasonable time and place
Which tax authority do I register my business with?
Your registered business is now a recognized corporate entity and is liable to pay tax and must be registered with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
What do I do if I am arrested and cannot afford a lawyer?
Where you are unable to afford the services of a lawyer, you have the option of obtaining the services of a Public Defender, a lawyer paid and appointed by the government to represent people who need the service of a lawyer but cannot afford one.
What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the conversion of another person’s intellectual property such as original ideas, expressions and creative works of an author or creator.
Can my employer sack me without notice?
Termination of employment is usually covered under a contract of employment, where there is one. The contract usually stipulates the circumstances and procedures for termination of employment. Where there is no written contract of employment, some employers can take advantage of this and terminate employment without notice.