Nigeria | What is Power of Attorney under Nigerian law?
Contributed by CJP Ogugbara, CJP Ogugbara & Co (Sui Generis Avocats), Nigeria.
Power of Attorney is a formal legal instrument, usually but not necessarily under seal (i.e., seal means deed), by which one Person, called the Donor, seised of an interest in a subject matter, appoints another person, called the Donee/Attorney, to act on behalf of the Donor generally or for specific purposes. Such acts are usually spelt out in the Power of Attorney. In the case of UDE vs. NW ARA (1993) 2 S.C.N.J 47, a power of attorney can be used in collecting money on behalf of the donor; prosecuting case in court; receiving or suing for rates and or rents as well as alienating interest in land. It can qualify as a Special Purpose Vehicle in the debt recovery in favour of the donor, in this instant, a creditor, who is usually outside the shores of Nigeria.
It is important to state that part of the essential elements of a power of attorney is that it can only be donated to a person who has the like qualities of the donor. This means that the donor must legally have the capacity to do what it is appointing someone to do. Thus, a non-juristic person cannot be appointed as an attorney. Also, it must expressly state the scope of authorities of the donee. Because of the nature of the purpose for which a power of attorney is created, it is advised that same should be specific on the subject matter of purpose. It is also important to be time bound so that it can automatically be revoked by operation of law.
Contributor: CJP Ogugbara
Agency/Firm: CJP Ogugbara & Co (Sui Generis Avocats)(English)
Position/Title: Founding Partner
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This post is a contribution from CJP Ogugbara & Co (Sui Generis Avocats). Established in 2014 as a Partnership Firm in Nigeria, CJP Ogugbara & Co has been working along and engaging in dispute management, litigation and arbitration, commercial practice: real estate and investment advisory, tax practice and energy consultancy. Apart from the core practice areas, they also facilitate and extend practice to the development of clients’ businesses and corporate interests, especially as they apply to the Nigerian economy and investment circle.