International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Nigeria

Nigeria
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, and piracy.

Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, and piracy.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape, is common throughout the country.

Terrorists continue plotting possible attacks in Nigeria. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, and other places where crowds gather in and around the Federal Capital Territory and other urban areas. The northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, and Yobe – and especially Borno – have experienced numerous acts of terrorism. 

Avoid travel to the Gulf of Guinea due to the threat of piracy.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens beyond Abuja and Lagos and their immediate surrounding areas, as U.S. government employees may be subject to constraints as security conditions warrant.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Nigeria:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Nigeria.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
... [READ MORE]

Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Abuja

1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Nigeria
Telephone: +(234)(9) 461-4328 (Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(234)(9) 461-4000
abujaACS@state.gov

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Lagos
2 Walter Carrington Crescent,
Victoria Island,
Lagos, Nigeria
Telephone: +(234)(1) 460-3600 (Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(234)(1) 460-3400
Fax: +(234)(1) 261-2218

General Information

For information concerning travel to Nigeria, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see our country-specific information for Nigeria.

Hague Abduction Convention

Nigeria is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Nigeria and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.   Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Nigeria and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

 

Contact information:

 

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax:  202-736-9132

Website 
Email: AskCI@state.gov

 

 

Parental child abduction is a criminal offense in Nigeria under the Criminal Code, Part V, Chapter 32, § 371.  For more information, view The Criminal Code Act

 

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Nigeria and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Nigeria for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General in Nigeria are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

Some churches and state-level Ministries of Women’s Affairs offer free mediation services. Free mediation services are also available at some High Courts, such as the Abuja Multi-Door Courthouse, ADR Center, High Court of FCT, Abuja, Nigeria, 09-670-2432. Mediation is voluntary.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: June 29, 2015

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Abuja
1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Nigeria
Telephone
+(234)(9) 461-4328 (Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
Emergency
+(234)(9) 461-4000
Fax
No Fax

Nigeria Map