ESIGNATURE LEGALITY GUIDE
eSignature Legality in Nigeria
ESIGNATURE LEGALITY GUIDE
As per the Nigerian law, electronic signatures are considered to be legally valid for signing a binding contract. A contract is generally considered valid based on the presence of certain elements including offer, consideration, acceptance, intention to create legal relationship between parties, and capacity to enter into a contract. The Nigerian Evidence Act, 2011 validates the application of electronic signatures as legal alternative to wet ink signatures. According to Section 93 of the Evidence Act, leading transaction management solutions can provide electronic records as legally permissible to support the existence, authenticity and valid acceptance of a contract.
Section 93 also states that all electronic signatures may be proved in any manner, including by showing that a procedure exists, which makes it necessary for a person to have executed a symbol or security procedure for the purpose of verifying that an electronic record belongs to that person only. This is further affirmed by section 17 (1) (a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015 which states that electronic signatures relating to purchase of goods and any other transactions are binding. Any other transactions include transactions to provide services.
Use cases that are not typically appropriate for digital transactions using electronic signatures
Organization’s use of electronic or digital signatures
In designing a framework for organizational use of electronic signatures, organizations can set a minimum standard contained in the Regulations for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) issued by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). According to recommendations made by the agency, a digital signature is considered secure when:
DISCLAIMER: This information is intended to help you understand the legal framework of electronic signatures. However, eMudhra cannot provide legal advice. The law of electronic signatures is constantly evolving. This guide is not intended as legal advice and should not serve as a substitute for professional legal advice. You should consult an attorney regarding any specific legal concerns. eMudhra, and all associates including agents, officers, employees or affiliates, are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages.
ABOUT THE GUIDE
The eSignature Legality Guide is the result of legal research into the laws and practices regarding eSignature on a country-by-country basis. Each country-level analysis was conducted by local law firms located in that country, in that country’s local language. This legal analysis was then supplemented with complementary research on eSignature and digital signature technology standards conducted by independent technology experts. Together, this information is provided as a public resource to understand eSignature legality, and clarify some of the common misconceptions about international eSignature legality.
A basic measure of eSignature legality in a country is whether courts will admit eSignatures as evidence in court. In most countries in the world, an eSignature cannot be rejected simply because it is electronic, meaning that it should be admissible, subject to proof. Learn more about how DocuSign helps you prove an eSignature validity in court, below.
While there are exceptions for very specific types of transactions, eSignatures, independent of the underlying technology, may be used for the majority of general business transactions in most countries. Issues that may restrict general business use include local technology requirements or other restrictions on special transactions types. Learn more about specific transaction types, below.
‘Tiered’ countries recognize Qualified Electronic Signature (QES, or the locally named equivalent) as a distinct type of eSignature. In these countries, a QES has special legal status in the form of presumed authenticity, and may be legally required for a few, specific transaction types. In spite of this, a non-QES eSignature can still be submitted as evidence in court even in Tiered countries, so long as the party presenting it has sufficient evidence to prove that it is valid. Countries imposing QES standards often struggle to promote electronic business transactions, especially across country borders. ‘Open’ countries have no such technology requirements or eSignature types that receive special legal status. Learn more about eSignature legality at https://www.emsigner.com/