Jul 4, 2014


Credits: Google

So everyone knows one person or the other who is a complete nuisance, i am sure you know what i mean, take some time to think about it, whose that person who you just feel like giving a punch, kicking out the door , throw off the 3rd mainland bridge , give a dirty slap, being far away from. I know those names just ran through your mind. Well, have no sweat because you can sue that nuisance dude. Ok, wait a minute, before you rush to court to sue the whole world or everyone on your street, you should finish reading this blog.
It’s not every nuisance that you can actually sue. 

According to Kodilinye and Aluko: The Nigerian Law of Torts, “the word nuisance is used in popular speech to mean any source of inconvenience or annoyance, but the tort of nuisance has a more restricted scope and not every inconvenience or annoyance is actionable. Nevertheless, this tort “has become a catch-all for a multitude of ill-assorted sins, such as the emission of noxious fumes, from a factory, the crowing of cocks in the early hours of the morning, the obstruction of a public highway, the destruction of a building through vibrations and the interference with an easement of way”.

Credits - Google
There is a long list of actions that come under nuisance; in fact the list is not exhaustive. Your neighbour who plays his music at the loudest volume and disturbs the neighbourhood can be a nuisance, so also the person that lets his pets go into other people’s house to damage property. I remember being asked if a lady who was fond of standing by her window nude in a neighbourhood full of married men can also be a nuisance, well I haven’t come across any case law on such before. 

Note that there are 2 types of nuisance, Public nuisance, which is a crime and actionable by the Attorney – General is committed where a person carries on some harmful activity which affects the general public or a section of the public, for example, where the owners of a factory cause or permit fumes and smoke to pollute the atmosphere in the locality. Private nuisance on the other hand refers to injury to the rights of a private person and is usually designed to protect private owners of land. 

Credits - Google
Private nuisance falls into 3 categories namely; a physical injury to a person’s property; substantial interference with a person’s use and enjoyment of his land; interference with easements and profits e.g. where a person wrongfully obstructs the right of way or light of another. Take a while and think about that nuisance you know, no need to suffer in silence anymore, you can sue that nuisance dude. The remedies available to one who complains of a nuisance are: damages, an injuction to restrain further nuisance and abatement. 

Adedunmade Onibokun, Esq.