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Nigerian Judiciary (Administration of Justice)

Nigerian Judiciary: Nigerian Courts and Administration of Justice

By Leesi Ebenezer Mitee

Judicial Powers

The Nigerian judiciary is governed by sections 6 and 230 – 296 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 which specify judicial powers of the Federal Government and States, and establish Federal Courts (sections 230 – 269) and State Courts (sections 270 – 284). The Federal Courts are the Supreme Court of Nigeria; Court of Appeal; Federal High Court; High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The State Courts are the High Court of a State, a Sharia Court of Appeal of a State, a Customary Court of Appeal of a State. Section 285 makes provision for the establishment of National Assembly Election Tribunal(s), and Governorship and Legislative Houses Tribunal(s). Section 6 provides as follows:

6. (1) The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation.

(2) The judicial powers of a State shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this Constitution, for a State.

(3) The courts to which this section relates, established by this Constitution for the Federation and for the States, specified in subsection (5)(a) to (i) of this section shall be the only superior courts of record in Nigeria; and save as otherwise prescribed by the National Assembly or by the House of Assembly of a State, each court shall have all the powers of a superior court of record.

(4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be construed as precluding –

(a) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly from establishing courts, other than those to which this section relates, with subordinate jurisdiction to that of a High Court;

(b) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly, which does not require it, from abolishing any court which it has power to establish or which it has brought into being.

(5) This section relates to –

(a) the Supreme Court of Nigeria;

(b) the Court of Appeal;

(c) the Federal High Court;

(d) the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;

(e) a High Court of a State;

(f) the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;

(g) a Sharia Court of Appeal of a State;

(h) the Customary Court of appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;

(i) a Customary Court of Appeal of a State;

(j) such other courts as may be authorised by law to exercise jurisdiction on matter with respect to which the National Assembly may make laws; and

(k) such other courts as may be authorised by law to exercise jurisdiction at first instance or on appeal on matters with respect to which a House of Assembly may make laws.

(6) The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section –

(a) shall extend, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution, to all inherent powers and sanctions of a court of law;

(b) shall extend to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person;

(c) shall not, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act or omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in Chapter II of this Constitution;

(d) shall not, as from the date when this section comes into force, extend to any action or proceedings relating to any existing law made on or after 15th January, 1966 for determining any issue or question as to the competence of any authority or person to make any such law.

• Supreme Court of Nigeria

Constitutional provisions

Website: www.scn.gov.ng

• Court of Appeal (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

Website: www.courtofappeal.gov.ng

• Federal High Court Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

Website: www.fhc-ng.com

• High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

Website: www.fcthighcourt.gov.ng

• Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

Website: www.shariacourtofappealng.com

• Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

• High Court of a State (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

• Sharia Court of Appeal of a State (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

• Customary Court of Appeal of a State (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

• Election Tribunals (Nigeria)

Constitutional provisions

 

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