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Supreme Court of Nigeria

The Supreme Court of Nigeria

Supreme Court of Nigeria: The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Federation and a state or between states and also has original jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court of Nigeria consists of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and such number of Justices of the Supreme Court, not exceeding twenty-one, as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. Presently the Supreme Court is made up of the Chief Justice and Sixteen (16) other Justices.

History of the Supreme Court of Nigeria

The coinage Supreme Court was first used in 1863 by the colonial administration through the enactment of the Supreme Court Ordinance No. II which established it as a colony with civil and criminal jurisdiction.

In 1963, following the proclamation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the constitution which came into operation on October 1, 1963, Section III of this constitution gave legal instrument that gave birth to Supreme Court following the abolition of section 120 which abrogated the appellate jurisdiction of the judicial committee of the Privy Council which was Nigeria’s apex Court.

This Act also gave it the status of the highest Court in the judicial hierarchy while the Independence Constitution of 1960 vested in it the jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court.

The 1979 Constitution in its Section 210 (1) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution clearly gave it the name Supreme Court of Nigeria. The Court operates as the apex Court on matters involving both Federal and State Laws.

The Supreme Court is composed of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and not more than twenty others appointed by the President after being recommended by the National Judicial Council subject to the Senate’s confirmation. They are required to retire after a mandatory service age of 70.

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Nigeria

Section 230 to 236 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria mention all about the Supreme Court.

However, section 232(1) specifically provides that “The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between the federation and a state or between states if and in so far as that dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the exstence or extent of a legal right depends”

(2) in addition to (1) above the supreme court shall have such original jurisdiction as may be confered upon it by any act of the national assembly: provided that no original jurisdiction shall be conferred upon the supreme court with respect to any criminal matter. By the provision of section 233(1) the Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction, to the exclusion of any other court of law in nigeria, to hear and determines appeals from the court of appeal”.

Supreme Court of Nigeria

Supreme Court of Nigeria

Composition of the Supreme Court of Nigeria

Section 230 provides that the Supreme Court of Nigeria shall consist of (a) The Chief Justice of Nigeria (b) Such number of Justices of the Supreme Court, not exceeding Twenty One as may be prescribed by act of National Assembly.

The Administrative set up is being headed by the Chief Registrar, who of course is the Chief Administrative/Accounting Officer. He is answerable to the Honorable Chief Justice of Nigeria; He is being assisted by four Deputy Chief Registrars and other supporting Staff.

Supreme Court of Nigeria Judgements

The Judgment Information system (JIS) consists of the Judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, since its inception i.e. 1963 till date are available on this portal. To access Click Here!


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