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REAL ESTATE (ADMINISTRATION).
1. This Ordinance may be cited as "The Real Estate (Administration) Ordinance."
2. When any person shall die intestate after the passing of this to be regarded Ordinance leaving any real property of whatsoever nature of which as personalty for the purthe said intestate might have disposed by will, such real property poses of adshall for the purposes of administration be deemed to be part of ministration. the personal estate of the said intestate and shall be administered
Provided always that the real property the succession to which cannot by native law or custom be affected by testamentary disposition shall descend in accordance with the provisions of such native law or custom anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
Provided also that the real estate shall not be administered unless the administrator shows to the satisfaction of the Court that the personal estate is insufficient to pay the intestate's debts and the expenses of his funeral, and of taking out administration. (Amended by 6 of 1903, s. 2.)
SMALL ESTATES (ADMINISTRATION).
1. This Ordinance may be cited as "The Small Estates Adminis- Short title. tration Ordinance."
relatives of deceased person in certain cases.
2. In case any person employed in the service of any Govern- Wages or ment Department shall die leaving any sum of money not exceeding salary not ten pounds due to him as wages or salary, and Probate of his Will may be paid or Letters of Administration be not produced to the Treasurer or to widow or other proper Officer responsible for the payment of the said sum; or, if notice in writing of the existence of a Will and intention to prove the same or notice of intention to take out Letters of Administration be not given to the said Treasurer or other proper Officer within the period of two months from the death of such person so employed as aforesaid; or, if such notice be given but such Will be not proved or Letters of Administration be not taken out and the Probate or Letters of Administration (as the case may be) produced to the said Treasurer or other proper Officer within the period of four months from the death of such person; it shall be lawful for the Treasurer or other proper Officer after such period of two or four months, as the case may be, to pay the sum due as aforesaid, at his discretion to the widow and relatives of the deceased person or any one or more of them.
Persons to whom Ordinance applies.
Chief Registrar to be Official Administrator.
District Commissioner to be deputy administrator.
Vesting of estate.
1. In this Ordinance unless the context requires otherwise :
2. Natives of Africa dying within or without the jurisdiction, who are at the time of their deaths, or who have been previously thereto employed under foreign contracts of service, and having any estate at the time of their death, shall be deemed to be the persons to whom this Ordinance applies.
3. The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court shall be Official Administrator of the estates of the persons to whom this Ordinance applies. (Amended.)
4. Every District Commissioner shall be ex officio Deputy Official Administrator for the district of which he is Commissioner, and shall be in this respect subject to the direction and under the control of the Official Administrator.
5. Immediately upon the death of a person to whom this Ordinance applies his estate shall vest in the Official Administrator without any grant of letters of administration for distribution among the persons thereto entitled, under the provisions hereinafter contained.
6. The Official Administrator shall, immediately on receiving Adminis information as to the death of a person employed under a foreign trator to comcontract of service and having any estate at his death, address a Colonial request to the Colonial Secretary to communicate with the govern- Secretary ing authority of the place in which such estate is, or where the with a view of obtaining employer of such person resides, with a view of obtaining particu- particulars, lars of such estate, and of ascertaining the value or amount thereof, &c. of estate. and of bringing such estate or part thereof within the jurisdiction.
7. Upon the receipt within the jurisdiction of such estate or part Adminis thereof (which shall be deposited in the Treasury pending distri- trator to publish notice bution) the Colonial Secretary shall inform the Official Adminis- of death of trator of the fact, and the Official Administrator shall, upon deceased and receiving such information, forthwith cause a notice in the form in particulars of the schedule hereunto annexed to be published in the Gazette, and to be posted in some public place at Lagos or other the place of the embarkation of the deceased to fulfil a foreign contract of service, and in some public place at the native place or the usual or the last known place of residence (should his native place not be ascertainable) of the deceased if Lagos or the said place of his embarkation were not his native place or usual or last known place of residence. The Official Administrator shall also cause a proclamation of the death of the deceased and particulars of his estate, and that application should be made in respect of the same to the Official Administrator or his deputy within the time limited by the aforesaid notice by means of a crier at Lagos, or the said place of his embarkation, and at his native place or his usual or last known place of residence as aforesaid. Every Deputy Official Administrator shall at once notify the Official Administrator of any claim received by him.
8. Upon the expiration of the time fixed by the said notice the Examination Official Administrator shall proceed to examine and adjudicate upon an of claims. adjudicathe claims then received by him, but he may in his discretion examine and adjudicate upon claims received by him after the expiration of the time fixed for the sending in of claims but before the actual distribution of the estate aforesaid. He shall have power to examine witnesses and parties concerned on oath, and may before the conclusion of any investigation submit any question arising therein for the direction of the Court upon such question. The Official Administrator may in his discretion direct that any evidence in respect of any claim shall be taken before a Deputy Official Administrator, in which case the Deputy Official Administrator shall have all the powers of the Official Administrator as regards the taking of evidence on oath. The evidence so taken shall be reduced into writing by the Deputy Official Administrator, and he shall at the conclusion of the proceedings before him send a copy of the notes of evidence to the Official Administrator.
Appeal against decision.
Distribution of estate.
Persons entitled to estate liable for debt.
Power of administrator
11. The Official Administrator shall have power to sue for and to sue sureties recover from the sureties of employers who have made default in of employers. payment all such wages as may be due to a deceased native of Africa to whom this Ordinance applies. He shall sue as Official Administrator, and shall pay such wages when and if recovered into the Treasury, whereupon the same steps in all respects shall be taken with regard to notices to claimants, adjudication on claims and otherwise, as are hereinbefore provided with regard to moneys deposited in the Treasury.
Protection of administrator.
9. The decision of the Official Administrator as to the person or persons entitled to the said estate shall be final and conclusive, provided nevertheless that any person (who shall have sent in a claim within the specified time, or whose claim, if sent in after the specified time, shall have been examined and adjudicated upon by the Official Administrator) aggrieved by the decision may within one month from the delivery of the same appeal to the Court by way of motion from such decision, in which case the Court shall make such order as to it may seem just.
Order 50, Sched. 2, Supreme Court Ordi.
nance, not applicable.
10. Upon the expiration of one month from the date of his decision the Official Administrator, if there shall be no appeal from such decision as hereinbefore provided, shall forward to the Treasurer a certificate under his hand of his decision and of the fact that such decision has not been appealed from, whereupon the Treasurer shall, after deducting the fees hereinafter mentioned, pay the moneys in his hands to the credit of the particular estate to the person or persons named in such certificate; but if there should be an appeal from the decision of the Official Administrator the Treasurer shall on production of an Order of Court, or an office. copy thereof, pay the moneys, after making such deduction as aforesaid, to the person or persons named in such Order of Court.
12. The person or persons named in the certificate of the Official Administrator or in any such Order of Court as aforesaid as being entitled to the estate shall be liable for the debts due from the deceased in all respects as if letters of administration had been granted to him or them by the Court, and the Official Administrator shall be under no liability in respect thereof.
13. No action shall be brought or claim made against the Official Administrator or any Deputy Official Administrator in respect of any decision or adjudication given or made by him in good faith, nor in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him in good faith in the execution or supposed execution of his powers or duty under this Ordinance.
14. Order 50 of the Second Schedule to the Supreme Court Ordinance shall not apply to the estates of persons to whom this Ordinance applies.