1 in every 7 adult Nigerian has either deposed to an affidavit or has been asked to depose to one (Source: DIYlaw’s imaginary facts & figures.)
If you plan on changing your name, lost a government issued ID-card, need to declare your age in lieu of a birth certificate, attest to the truthfulness or authenticity of a situation or document, bear witness in court, you’re going to need an affidavit. These are just a few of the instances where you may need an affidavit
An affidavit is a statement made under oath that some fact, or set of facts, is true to the best of the knowledge of the deponent (the person making the statement). They are deposed to either in a court (before a judge or commissioner of oaths) or before a notary public.
Affidavits are used to provide sworn statement of facts to courts, government agencies, banks and other private organisations. If a false testimony is given in an affidavit, the deponent will be prosecuted for perjury or giving false statement under oath.
There are strict rules about how affidavits should be written, what they can include, and how they must be sworn or affirmed.
How to write an affidavit
1. Determine the title of the affidavit.
An affidavit must carry the caption of where or whom the affidavit is being deposed to.
In the High Court of Lagos State
In the Lagos Judiciary
Holden At Lagos
The title itself must state what type of affidavit it is, e.g. Affidavit of Loss, Affidavit of Change of Name, Affidavit of Age etc
2. In the introductory paragraph of the affidavit, state that an affidavit will be deposed to, and include the name and personal information of the deponent.
Personal information such as full name, address, religion, gender, nationality and where relevant, place of work and occupation should be stated in this sentence
I, Zainab DIYlaw, Female, Christian, Nigerian of 123 Red Street, Surulere, Lagos State, hereby depose to this affidavit and state as follows:
3. Write an opening sentence verifying your description in the introductory paragraph
From this point on, you write in numbered paragraphs.
The verification sentence confirms you are the one described in the previous paragraph.
- I am the above named person
4. Outline the facts to be stated in the affidavit in numbered paragraphs.
Outline only facts that are relevant and important and disregard those which are not. Arrange the facts in a coherent manner.
Describe each fact concisely and clearly by providing names, dates, addresses and other information as needed.
- I work with DIYlaw Technologies Limited
- On August 6, 2017, I lost my wallet on my way back from work
- The lost wallet contained my National ID Card, Driver’s’ Licence and ATM Card
- This affidavit is deposed to for record purposes and so I can process replacement for the lost items
5. Attest to the truthfulness of the Affidavit
Confirm that the affidavit is truth and the law which gives the affidavit legal backing.
- That I make this affidavit in good faith, believing same to be true in accordance with Oath Law of Lagos State 2004.
6. Date & Sign out
Insert the date of the affidavit and create the signature block, i.e. the space where you sign your name and where the judge, commissioner of oaths or notary public signs.
Dated this ______day of _______________________ 2017
Sworn to at the High Court ————————————
Registry Lagos, this 13th day D E C L A R A N T
of July 2016
COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS
So when next you are asked to bring an affidavit, no need to panic. You just draft using the sample above as a guideline, take the affidavit to the nearest court or notary public to you, depose to its truth and voila, you’re ready to go!