Affidavit: Change of name in Nigeria explained

The Nigerian Constitution provides that any person who has changed his/her name shall file an affidavit before a court stating the reasons for the change. This is done to avoid confusion between people having the same name.

An affidavit can be used for several purposes. Among them is marriage, divorce, or any other reason best known to the individual. To obtain an affidavit under your new name, you need to provide proof of identity and address. In addition, you may have to pay fees.

If you are changing your name due to marriage, divorce, adoption, etc., then you should get an affidavit in the high court or magistrate court. In Nigeria, if you want to change your name, you have to go through a law court.

This is because Nigerian law requires that you get permission from the state’s attorney general before changing your name. If you don’t do this, then you can face fines or even imprisonment.
Do you need a reason to change your name?
There have been many cases where people have changed their names to avoid being confused with someone else. This includes celebrities who have changed their names to make themselves seem more unique.

Another reason to change your name would be to protect your identity. Some people choose to change their names after they get married or divorced. They do this so no one knows who they are.

And finally, some people change their names because they feel like their old name doesn’t represent them anymore. Maybe they feel like they’ve grown into a different person than the one they used to be.
What are the reasons?
Name changes can be made for many different reasons. Some people do this to make their business easier to remember. Others may want to use a different spelling of their company name.

In some cases, they may even want to change their name because they feel that their current name does not accurately represent them anymore.

Whatever your reason for changing your name, it is always best to consult with a lawyer before making any major decisions regarding your business.
How can I change my name legally in Nigeria?
The process for change of name in Nigeria is not difficult. However, you must follow the procedure of swearing an affidavit and doing a newspaper publication.

To do this, simply visit a magistrate’s court nearby. After swearing an affidavit, you will still need to do a newspaper publication. Whereby, it will carry your new name, with the caveat that all other documents remain valid.

To have your name published in any of the national dailies, you will provide some documents like your identity card, you will pay a fee, and after that, you will be asked to pick up a copy of the newspaper.

All you need to do is keep the page of that newspaper publication and always show it as proof of your change of name.

Popular Nigerian newspapers for change of name include: Daily Trust, Guardian Newspaper, and Leadership Newspaper.
What is the purpose of an affidavit?
An affidavit is a legal document that provides evidence of facts and circumstances that are used to prove guilt or innocence in a court of law. An affidavit can be used to provide proof of identity, ownership, age, residency, etc.

An affidavit is not a sworn statement but instead a declaration that states the truth of certain facts to prove evidence.
How do you get an affidavit for a name change?
To get an affidavit for a name change, visit any of the magistrate courts in your location. You will need to fill out a form. Once you have filled out the form, the court clerk will ask you to pay a petition fee of one thousand naira as an oath fee to file your petition.

After paying the fee, they will process it and hand you a copy of the form. It must be signed and stamped with the date and fee amount clearly shown on the form.

With this, you have legally changed your name. All you need to do is to get your name published in a newspaper informing the general public that you now wish to be addressed with the new name and that all your documents bearing your former name remain valid.
How much does it cost to do a change of name in Nigeria?

The cost to do a change of name in Nigeria varies depending on the publishing firm you are using, but in general, it can range from 3000-5000 naira to have your change of name published in any of the national dailies in Nigeria.
Conclusion

An affidavit is a legal document that states your intention to legally change your name. You can do this at any time. If you are changing your name due to marriage, divorce, or other reasons, then you should complete the finalization of the divorce or dissolution of the marriage before you swear an affidavit.

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