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JURISDICTION MAY BE RAISED AT ANYTIME

Dictum

Equally, true is the fact that the issue of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of a proceeding up to the final determination of an appeal even by the highest court of the land. A trial court and, indeed, an appellate court may raise it suo motu at any stage of a proceeding, but must invite the parties to address it on the issue before it takes its decision thereupon.

– Iguh, JSC. Oshatoba v. Olujitan (2000)

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ILLEGALITY OF A CONTRACT IMPACTS THE JURISDICTION OF A COURT

Illegality of a contract or transaction, whenever it is raised as a defence to a claim founded on the said transaction, impacts on the jurisdiction of the court. When the contract on which the plaintiff sues is ex facie illegal, the courts will decline to enforce it for the courts exercise their jurisdiction only to administer the law of the land. They do not exercise their jurisdiction to help the Plaintiff break the law. See GEORGE & ORS v. DOMINION FLOUR MILLS LTD (1963) 1 ALL NLR 71; IBRAHIM v. OSIM (1988) NWLR 257; BARCLAYS BANK D.O.C. v, MEMUNATU HASSAN (1961) ALL NLR 836.

— E. Eko, JSC. CITEC v. Edicomisa (2017) – SC. 163 2006

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FEDERAL HIGH COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER AVIATION MATTERS

The Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Aviation related causes of action. See Section 251 (1) K of the Constitution; and a plaintiff, claimant would have a valid claim if his suit is commenced within two years from the date of arrival at his destination or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived or from the date the flight ended. See Article 29 of both Legislations.

– Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Cameroon v. Otutuizu (2011) – SC.217/2004

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PARTIES TO A CASE DETERMINE THE JURISDICTION OF A COURT

However, what the learned senior Counsel failed to realize is the fact that the presence of the 2nd Appellant, the National Judicial Council and the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation as parties in the case, had pulled in a feature in the case which brought it out of the jurisdiction of the High Court taking into consideration the decision of this Court in Madukolu v. Nkemdelim (supra) earlier quoted in this judgment.

– Mahmud, JSC. Elelu-Habeeb v. A.G Federation (2012)

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COURT PROPERLY CONSTITUTED

Madukolu v. Nkemdilim (1962) 1 All NLR 587 per Bairamian FJ as follows:- “Put briefly, a court is competent when: It is properly constituted as regards numbers and qualifications 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 and there is no feature in the case which prevents the court from exercising its jurisdiction; and the case comes before the court initiated by the due process of law and upon fulfillment of any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction.”

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JURISDICTION CAN BE RAISED AT ANYTIME NOT APPLICABLE TO ARBITRATION

For instance, the general position of the law that the issue of jurisdiction of a Court can be raised at any stage of the proceedings of a case, even for the first time at the appellate stage, is not applicable to arbitral proceedings before an arbitral Tribunal because the Act, in Section 12(3) has provided the stage at which a challenge to the jurisdiction of the arbitral Tribunal is to or may be raised by a party.

– Garba, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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FHC & HIGH COURT HAVE CONCURRENT JURISDICTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

A community reading of Section 46 of the 1999 Constitution and Order 1(2) of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules would reveal undisputedly that both the Federal High Court and the High Court of a State have concurrent jurisdiction on matters of breach or likely breach of any of the fundamental rights enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution. This has been the consistent position of this Court upheld in an avalanche of cases, some of which are Grace Jack v. University of Agriculture, Makurdi (2004) 17 NSCQR 90 at 100; (2004) 5 NWLR (Pt. 865) 208; Olutola v. University of Ilorin (2004) 18 NWLR (Pt. 905) 416, Ogugu v. The State (1994) 9 NWLR (Pt. 366) 1.

– J.I. Okoro JSC. Ihim v. Maduagwu (2021)

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