Arbitration & ADR, Insights

Imperatives for Receipt of the Norwich Pharmacal Order into the Nigerian Legal System

Most times a Claimant knows his right(s) has been infringed upon or a wrong has happened against him but cannot claim damages against the wrongdoer due to lack of evidence to prove the wrongdoing or lack of knowledge of the identity of the wrongdoer. In a bid to access this information, the Claimant in most cases resort to some investigative measures (like employing the services of an independent investigator) which is cost demanding and may end up in futility.

To this end, the Norwich Pharmacal Order (NPO) came to the rescue. A NPO is an equitable order of the court available in England and Wales which compels a third party who has become “mixed up” in a wrongdoing to disclose evidence of the wrongdoing or the identity of a wrongdoer that would otherwise remain confidential. This is to enable the victim seek remedy before a competent court because where there is a wrong, there ought to be a remedy (Ubi jus ibi remedium).

The NPO is functionally not only confined to identifying wrongdoers in the tortious acts, but also includes the duty to provide “full information” to ascertain the existence of a cause of action or the elements thereof or to complete an investigation into such matters . NPO is commonly applied against “Banks” and “Internet services providers” in order to access information or documents in proving fraud or defamation against a victim.

This article seeks to interrogate the applicability or otherwise of the NPO in Nigeria in light of the Freedom of Information Act and the discovery practices in Nigeria. The article also seeks to juxtapose the NPO with similar equitable orders (like Mareva order, anton piller, etc.) operational in Nigeria…

 

 

To read the full article, kindly download the PDF

Practice Key Contacts

More To Read

17/05/2024
Concurrent Delay in Construction Contracts: A Pragmatic Perspective

Introduction Delays on construction projects are common, often creating disputes over responsibility, extension of time and liquidated damages. Concurrent delays, where both the contractor and

07/05/2024
Innovating Finance: How IP Insurance Can Transform Nigerian Innovative Startups.

Introduction In the evolving global economy, intellectual property (IP) has emerged as a critical asset for businesses, especially for startups and innovation-driven enterprises. IP assets,