How to Get A Restraining Order in Nigeria

Written by Nwafor Thelma

Nwafor Thelma is an avid law student who enjoys reading, traveling and most importantly, writing. Thelma writes mostly on personal life, people generally, and entertainment . She loves adventure and she loves to explore new things. She also finds delights in watching football. When she is not writing, she is researching to gain more knowledge. Thelma believes that the world will be a better place if everyone communicates through writing.

May 19, 2022

You may become afraid of someone due to that person pestering you, endangering your life, or simply being a nuisance, and you will need to defend yourself against that person. One of the things you’ll need to protect yourself is a restraining order. The following article explains how to get a restraining order in Nigeria.

What Is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a temporary order usually written and issued by the court of law for a specified time preventing the restrained party from contacting or going close to the protected party. They are often requested to help people to obtain protection.  

Still, restraining demands can keep an abuser from constantly harassing or bothering you by ordering them to stay away from your home, place of employment, school, or other locations that you may continually frequent.

They are usually involved in alleged domestic violence, assault, battery, harassment, stalking, sexual assault, and many more. The restraining orders can sometimes extend to the family and household members of the protected person.

Before it reaches that stage, learn how to easily recognize an emotional abuser and what to do when someone threatens to leak your nudes.

Types of Restraining Orders

The various types of restraining orders include;

1. Temporary Restraining Order

This is an order or injunction issued to keep you safe before trial. They often last for about 7-14 days. The party must convince the judge that they will suffer immediate injury unless the order is issued.

2. Emergency Restraining Order

These types of orders are usually granted in domestic violence cases. When a police officer receives a call, he can present such an order because of immediate danger or an inability to go to the courtroom immediately.

They last 5-7 days give time to go to court to ask for a domestic violence restraining order.

3. Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A judge may issue this after a court hearing. This order usually lasts longer than emergency or temporary restraining orders sometimes for a few years.

4. No-Contact Order

This is more like a judgment because it is issued after a court hearing, and the abuser is charged with a crime. It is a punishment for a crime, and it means the abuser may not have any contact with you whatsoever, be it physically or verbally.

A no-contact order normally lasts for a short or long time, depending on the facts of your case.

Steps on How to Get a Restraining Order

1. Identify the Harassment

First, you have to determine the nature of the harassment and gather evidence to support it. For example, if it is stalking, sexual harassment, nuisance, or domestic violence.

2. Quantum of Harassment

To get a restraining order in Nigeria, you have to make sure that the reason you want one is not trivial because the law does not concern itself with trifles (small acts).

That is to say that the harassment must be such that you will be in imminent threat if the restraining order is not granted.

3. Consult a Lawyer

This is not compulsory but advisable. Consult a lawyer with relevant skills and experience. With the lawyer’s expertise, you will be able to go through a rigorous process. Narrate all the details to the lawyer without leaving the slightest detail.

This is to enable the lawyer to know the exact cause of action to take

4. Prepare the Right Documents

A lawyer will do this. The lawyer will prepare all revenant documents, relying on facts provided by the victim, and all necessary documents will be filed into court.

For example, an application for a domestic violence restraining order will be filed along with an affidavit and be submitted to a court registrar. They must within 72 hours, offer the same to the court.

Although the lawyer owes a professional duty to their client to guide them through the processes, be sure to be guided by the lawyer on any steps taken and ask questions. You can disengage with the lawyer at any time.

Suppose you do not want to engage the services of a lawyer as a result of financial troubles. If that is the case, you can seek assistance from non-governmental organizations, Pro bono lawyers (lawyers who offer free legal services), women’s shelters, and many more. You can get one by yourself by simply approaching the High court with an application supported by an affidavit showing prima facie (reasonable evidence) that you might be in danger. This is a sworn statement from you in which you tell your story and provide all the facts showing why you think a restraining order should be granted.

This includes describing each specific act of harassment, how the harassment has made you feel, and details of any contact you’ve had with the police about it; then, a notice will be sent to the harasser along with your affidavit.

The court can then grant an interim (for a short time) restraining order applicable throughout the federation. A substantive (main) suit can be filed afterward.

Here are some organizations that may be of help if you are having trouble visiting the high court.

Organizations That Help You Get A Restraining Order in Nigeria

1. LawyerUp Nigeria

Managed by a team of enthusiastic young lawyers who educate the average Nigerians about their rights and duties, LawyerUp Nigeria also provides pro bono services to Nigerians who need them.

2. Dorothy Njemanze Foundation

This foundation provides first response services to sexual gender-based violence and domestic violence victims.

3. Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS)

The human rights law service (HURILAWS) is a non-profit service dedicated to providing public interest and human rights law services to advance the legal protection of human rights.

Conclusion

How to get a restraining order in Nigeria is not as difficult as it sounds, especially when you have a professional lawyer helping to do the work or one of the organizations assisting. It can also be nerve-wracking, but you have to calm down and trust the process.

If the following information in this article was helpful or there is a need for clarification, please kindly notify me in the comment section.

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