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TRIAL COURT JURISDICTION DETERMINES COURT OF APPEAL’S JURISDICTION

Dictum

In APGA V. ANYANWU (2014) 7 NWLR (PT 1407) 541 at 567-568, this Court held as follows:- “The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal to entertain an appeal is dependent upon the jurisdiction of the trial Court to hear and determine the suit before it in the first instance. Where the trial Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the case, its proceedings are a nullity and the Court of Appeal would not have the jurisdiction to entertain an appeal arising therefrom. An appeal from proceedings initiated conducted without jurisdiction will be liable to be struck out for want of jurisdiction.”

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ISSUE OF STATUTE BARRED CHALLENGES COURT JURISDICTION

It is also well established that when a party raises the issue that an action is statute barred, he is no doubt challenging the competence of the Suit and the jurisdiction of the court to entertain it. – Oseji, JCA. SIFAX v. MIGFO (2015) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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INITIATING APPLICATION DETERMINES COURT’S JURISDICTION

In Bakary Sarre & 28 Ors vs. Senegal (2011) (unreported) Pg. 11, Para. 25, the Court held that its competence to adjudicate in a given case depends not only on its texts, but also on the substance of the Initiating Application. The Court accords every attention to the claims made by the Applicants, the pleas in law invoked, and in an instance where human right violation is alleged, the Court equally carefully considers how the parties present such allegations.

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IT IS ONLY SIGNATORIES TO THE ECOWAS TREATY WHO CAN BE SUED BEFORE THE ECOWAS COURT

✓ In the case of JOHNNY KING & 10 Ors V. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA & 9 Ors ECW/CCJ/RUL/06/19, the Court held that: “The Court has looked at the laws regarding its jurisprudence as well as precedents in this Court, and it is so clear that, it is only member states of ECOWAS who are signatories to the treaties can be brought before this Court for human rights violations and this Court has maintained that position in all its decisions.”
✓ In SERAP V. THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA & Ors ECW/CCJ/RUL/07/10, The Court confirms that: “In the context and legal framework of ECOWAS, the court stands by its current understanding that only member States and Community Institutions can be sued before it for alleged violation of human right as laid down in Peter David v. Ambassador Ralph Uwechue delivered on 11 th day of June 2010”.

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JURISDICTION IS DETERMINED FROM THE FACTS PRESENTED BY THE PLAINTIFF

Para. 12: “The plaintiffs failed to address the issues raised by the defendant in the preliminary objection. This court in its inherent jurisdiction to do justice at all times will however proceed to analyze the issues raised in line with the facts presented by the plaintiffs in the initiating application. This is more so as jurisdiction is determined from the facts presented in a Plaintiffs application and not from the defence.”

— Osaghae v Nigeria (2017) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/03/17

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WHEN A COURT IS COMPETENT TO EXERCISE JURISDICTION OVER A SUIT

A court is said to be competent to exercise jurisdiction over a suit when the following are present: 1. It is properly constituted as regards members and qualification of the members of the bench and no member is disqualified for one reason or another; 2. The subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction,...

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