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SITUATIONS WHERE ISSUE OF JURISDICTION MAY BE RAISED

Dictum

Any objection to the jurisdiction of a court can be raised in any of the following situations – a. On the basis of the statement of claim, b. On the basis of evidence received, c. By motion supported by affidavit setting out facts relied on, d. On the face of writ of summons. Where appropriate as to the capacity in which the action was brought or against whom the action was brought.

— O.O. Adekeye, JSC. Goldmark & Ors. v. Ibafon Co. & Ors. (2012) – SC.421/2001

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ALLEGATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IS ENOUGH TO TRIGGER THIS COURT JURISDICTION

In the case of His Excellency Vice-President Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana v. Republic of Sierra Leone.-SUIT NO: ECW/CCJ/APP/38/16 and JUD NO: ECW/CCJ/JUD/19/17 (At page 14 of the judgment); the court held that: “Indeed Allegations of violations of Human Rights by an Applicant is sufficient to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court. This is distinct from the issues of the veracity of the allegation.”

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ISSUE OF JURISDICTION CAN ONLY BE RAISED AT THE ARBITRATION PANEL

The law therefore is that although in the regular Courts, the issue of jurisdiction can be raised at all stages of the proceedings of a case; from the trial to the final appellate, where a statute prescribed the stage at which the issue is to be raised in the course of the proceedings of a case, the issue cannot be validly and properly raised at any other stage other than the one stipulated in the statute. The general principle applies only where there was no statutory provision as to the particular or specific stage of the proceedings of a case at which the issue of jurisdiction is to be raised by a party.

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

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JUDGEMENT GIVEN WITHOUT JURISDICTION IS NULL

para. 25: “25. For clarity, the Defendant and the Intervener raised a serious issue of lack of competence of the Court to adjudicate on the matter. It is trite law that a judgment given without jurisdiction amounts to a nullity no matter how well detailed or conducted the proceedings are.”

Ugokwe v FRN (2005) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/03/05

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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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MERE ALLEGATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION SATISFIES RATIONE MATERIAE

✓ Para. 14: In Serap V. Federal Republic Of Nigeria & 4 ors, (2014) ECW/CCJ/JUD/16/14 (unreported), the Court held that the mere allegation that there has been a violation of human rights in the territory of a member State is sufficient prima facie to justify the jurisdiction of this Court on the dispute, surely without any prejudice to the substance and merits of the complaint which has to be determined only after the parties have been given the opportunity to present their case, with full guarantees of fair trial.

✓ Para 15: Similarly in El Hadji Aboubacar Vs. BCEAO & Rep. of Niger (2011) CCJELR (unreported) pg. 8, Para 25, the Court found that for an application to be admissible in matters of human rights, the mere citing of the facts connected with such description suffices to confer competence on it.

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JURISDICTION CAN BE RAISED AT ANYTIME BY THE COURT

The law is well settled that the issue of jurisdiction is so fundamental to adjudication that it can be raised at any stage of the proceedings and even for the first time on appeal to this court. See Usman Dan Fodio University v. Kraus Thompson Ltd (2001) 15 NWLR (Pt. 736) 305; Elabanjo v. Dawodu (2006) All FWLR (Pt. 328) 604, (2006) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1001) 76 115-116 G-A ; PDP v. Okorocha (2012) All FWLR (Pt. 626) 449, (2012) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1323) 205. The issues are therefore competent before this court.

— Kekere-Ekun, JSC. Nyesom v. Peterside (SC.1002/2015 (REASONS), 12 Feb 2016)

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