Hon. Justice M. L. Uwais, CON
Chief Justice of Nigeria
The Federal Courts:
To contribute towards effective governance, it is the duty of this machinery of government to adjudicate in disputes arising between individuals, governments and corporate entities in their inter-relationships with one another within or outside the country in accordance with the law. In that regard, the functions, powers and responsibilities of the various courts forming the Federal Judicature are discussed below:
The Supreme Court:
This is the highest court in Nigeria. It is last stop on all appeal matters. It is the last stop on all appeal matters. It consist of the Chief Justice of the Federation and such number of Justices of the Supreme Court as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
Please see Section 230 of the draft Constitution.
It has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court.
The Court of Appeal:
The Court of Appeal consist of the President and the Justices of the Court of Appeal among which at least three must be learned in Islamic Law and three in Customary Law.
It has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Federal High Court, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, State High court, Sharia Court of Appeal, Customary Court of Appeal, National Industrial Court, a court-martial or other tribunals prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
The Constitutional Court:
This Court is made up of its President and law may prescribe such number of Justices of the Constitutional Court (at least 20) as. It has original jurisdiction in respect of matters relating to the interpretation or enforcement of the Constitution among other duties.
The Federal High Court:
It consists of the Chief Judge and law may prescribe such number of Judges as.
The Court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to the revenue of the Government of the Federation such as taxation, customs, and excise duties, banking, copyright, admiralty, citizenship, etc.
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory:
It consists of a Judge ad such number of Judges as may be prescribed by law. To all intents and purposes, it has the same unlimited jurisdiction as the State High Courts.
Other Courts of the Federal Capital Territory:
In the Federal Capital Territory, there are the Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal. The Grand Khadi and Khadis preside over the Sharia Court while the President of the Customary Court and other Judges preside over the Customary Court of Appeal. The Sharia Court of Appeal exercises appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings on Islamic Law. The Customary Court of Appeal exercises appellate and supervisory Jurisdiction in Civil Proceedings on Customary Law.
The High Court of a State:
Every State has its own High Court headed by a Chief Judge and supported by such number of Judges as may be prescribed by a Law of the State. The High court has unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil and criminal proceedings under any law of the state.
Other Courts of a State:
There is a Sharia Court of Appeal and a Customary Court of Appeal for any State that requires any of them.
In addition to the above, there are Election Tribunals and an Election Appeal Tribunal in each State of the Federation.