Howdy! How can we help you?

< All Topics




I. Short title.

2. Interpretation.


Short title



Sheriff and deputy sheriffs

3. Appointment of sheriff.

4. Appointment of deputy sheriffs.

5. Appointment of bailiffs.

6. Declaration by bailiffs.


Powers, duties and liabilities of sheriff, deputy sheriffs, bailiffs and police officers

7. Sheriff may command person to arrest felon.

8. Sheriff to make return of writs.

9. Duties at assizes.

10. Duties as to execution of writs.

11. Other duties of sheriff.

12. Duties as to execution of sentence of death.

13. Duties of deputy sheriffs.

14. Liability for wrongful imprisonment.

15. Duty of police officers.

Protection of sheriffs

16. Protection of sheriff selling goods under execution without notice of claim by third party.

17. Protection of sheriffs.


18. Fees to form part of Consolidated Revenue Fund.


Enforcement of judgments and orders Execution and committals

19. Interpretation.


20. Execution of judgments or orders for sum of money.

21. Execution of orders for payment by instalments.

22. Execution to be superseded on payment.

23. Power to suspend execution.

24. Execution of warrants of possession.

Seizure of goods and securities and custody thereof

25. Goods which may be seized.

26. Custody of goods seized.

27. Disposal of bills of exchange, etc., seized.

28. Penalty for obstructing execution.

Sale of goods seized

29. Period 10 elapse before sale.

30. Sales under execution to be published unless otherwise ordered.

31. Delivery of movable property in possession of judgment debtor.

Claims in respect ofproperty seized

32. Priority of writs.

33. Sale of property where claim made thereto.


34. Interpleader by sheriff.

Landlord’s claim for rents

35. Claims for rent where goods seized in execution.


36. Property subject to lien.

Transfer of proceedings for execution

37. Execution out of jurisdiction of court.


38. Issue and execution of orders of committal.

39. Execution of committal orders out of jurisdiction of court.

40. Liability of bailiff for neglect to levy an execution.

41. Irregularity in executing warrants.

42. Actions against bailiffs acting under warrants.

43. Process evidence of authority.

Execution against immovable property

44. Levy of execution upon immovable property.

45. Levy of execution upon materials used in construction of a building.

46. Mode of levying execution against buildings.

47. Setting aside sale for irregularity.


48. When sale becomes absolute.

49. Return of deposit or purchase money.

50. Certificate of title.

51. Immovable property in possession of judgment debtor.

52. Obstructing purchaser in obtaining possession.

53. Certificate of title to be withheld on sale to an alien or of a right of occupancy.

54. Application of Islamic law in the Northern States where parties are Muslims.


Judgment summons

55. Application for judgment summons for examination of judgment debtor.

56. Praecipe for judgment summons; different names.

57. Judgment against firm.

58. Order to bring judgment debtor before court.

59. Enlargement of time and conditional order.

60. Discovery of property.

61. Adjournment of examination.

62. Interim order for protection of property.

63. Orders on close of investigation.

64. Power of court during hearing of a cause.

Committal to prison

65. Power to commit debtor to prison in certain cases.

Misconduct of judgment debtor

66. Non-attendance of judgment debtor.

(a) Refusal to satisfy judgment.

(b) Fraudulent disposition.

(c) Debt contracted by fraud.

(d) Forbearance obtained by fraud.

(e) Debt recklessly contracted.

(f) Disobedience of judgment other than for money.

67. Party in default to be brought before the court.

68. Commitment of party in default.

69. Penalty on misconduct of judgment debtor.

70. Labour may be ordered in certain cases.

71. Labour may be specified by regulations.

72. Committal for refusal to comply with order.

73. Release of judgment debtor upon satisfaction.

74. Application for discharge.

75. Procedure on application for discharge.

76. Imprisonment does not extinguish debt.

77. Subsequent imprisonment for misconduct.

Subsistence of debtor prisoners


78. Subsistence allowance to debtor prisoners.

79. Removal of prisoner in case of ness.

80. Subsistence money added to judgment.

81. Expenses of imprisonment.

82. Sequestration.



Attachment of debts by garnishee order

83. Debts may be garnisheed.

84. Consent of appropriate officer or court necessary if money is held by public officer or the court.

85. Order for attachment to bind debt.

86. Execution against garnishee.

87. Trial of liability of garnishee.

88. Lien or claim of third person on debt.

89. Order may be made if third person does not appear.

90. Procedure upon appearance of claimants.

91. Garnishee discharged.

92. Private alienation after attachment void.


Forms and rules Forms

93. Use of forms in First Schedule.

94. Rules of court.



Service of the process and enforcement of the judgments of the courts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the States throughout Nigeria

95. Interpretation.

96. Writ of summons may be served in any part of Federation.

97. Endorsement on writ for service outside a State.

98. Concurrent writs.

99. Time limited For answering to summons.

100. Order for plaintiff to give security for costs.

101. Proceedings where defendant does not answer to summons.

102. No increased jurisdiction conferred by this Part.


103. Process may be served in any part of Federation.

Enforcement of judgments

104. Certificate of judgment.

105. Registration of judgments and proceedings thereunder.

106. Costs of proceedings.

107. Execution not to issue unless affidavit tiled.

108. Proceedings subject to control of court.

109. Stay of proceedings.

110. Notification of proceedings and of satisfaction of judgment. I 11. Power to make rules.

112. Transitional provisions.




Certificate of judgment

An Act to make provision for the appointment and duties of sheriffs, the enforce- ment of judgments and orders, and the service and execution of civil process of

the Courts throughout Nigeria.

[40 of 1955. Order 47 of 1951. L.N. 1 of 1955. 47 of 1955. 107 of 1955.]

[1st June, 1945]

[Commencernent.] PART I

Short title

1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act.



2. Interpretation

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires –

[L.N. 47 of 1955.]

“court” includes a High Court and a magistrate’s court;

“process” has the meaning assigned to it in section 19 of this Act.

Sheriff and deputy sheriffs

3. Appointment of sheriffs

There shall be appointed for each State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Terri-

tory, Abuja, a tit and proper person to be the sheriff for the State or for the Federal Capi- tal Territory, Abuja.

4. Appointment of deputy sheriffs

There shall be appointed for each State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Terri- tory, Abuja, a fit and proper person to be the deputy sheriff who shall be subject to the general control and direction of the sheriff.


5. Appointment of bailiffs

The sheriffs may appoint such number of persons as bailiffs as may be necessary.

6. Declaration by bailiffs

Every bailiff and every other person who has authority to intermeddle with the execu- tion of writs issued by any court of record, shall before he does so make a declaration, which shall be exempt from stamp duty, in the form in the First Schedule to this Act, or to the like effect, before any judge or magistrate for the division or district in which he exercises such authority.

[First Schedule.]

Powers, duties and liabilities of sheriff, deputy sheriffs, bailiffs and

police officers

7. Sheriff may command person to arrest felon

The sheriff may command any person to arrest any person who has committed or is suspected of having committed a felony, and any person failing to obey such command shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N200 or to imprisonment for one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

8. Sheriff to make return of writs

The sheriff shall receive writs and process of a court-issued in accordance with this Act and shall be charged with making returns thereto.

9. Duties at assizes

At the sessions the sheriff shall direct a sufficient number of police constables to be employed to keep order in and within the precincts of the court.

For full law download PDF, click the button below

Table of Contents