Nigerian Constitution (Chapter 7)


Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999
CHAPTER VII

THE JUDICATURE

Part I

Federal Courts

A - The Supreme Court of Nigeria

230. -

(1) The shall be a Supreme Court of Nigeria.


(2) The Supreme Court of Nigeria shall consist of :-

(a) the Chief Justice of Nigeria; and

(b) such number of Justices of the Supreme court, not exceeding twenty-one, as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

231.
(1) The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria or of a Justice of the Supreme Court, unless he is qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than fifteen years.

(4) If the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to an has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment, and the President shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

232. -

(1) 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 State if and in so far as that dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.

(2) In addition to the jurisdiction confer#FF0000 upon it by subsection (1) of this section, the Supreme Court shall have such original jurisdiction as may be confer#FF0000 upon it by any Act of the National Assembly.

Provided that no original jurisdiction shall be confer#FF0000 upon the Supreme Court with respect to any criminal matter.

233. -
(1) The Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction, to the exclusion of any other court of law in Nigeria, to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal.

(2) An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court as of right in the following cases:-

(a) where the ground of appeal involves questions of law alone, decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings before the court of Appeal;

(b) decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation or application of this Constitution;

(c) decision in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to whether any of the provisions of Chapter IV of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be, contravened in relation to any person;

(d) decisions in any criminal proceedings in which any person has been sentenced to death by the Court of Appeal or in which the Court of Appeal has affirmed a sentence of death imposed by any other court;

(e) decisions on any question:-

(i) whether any person has validly elected to the office of President or vice-president under this Constitution;

(ii) whether the term of office of President or vice-president has become vacant; and

(f) Such other cases as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, an appeal shall lie from the decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court with the leave of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court.

(4) The Supreme Court may dispose of any application for leave to appeal from any decision of the Court of Appeal in respect of any civil or criminal proceedings in which leave to appeal is necessary after consideration of the record of the proceedings if the Supreme Court is of opinion that the interests of justice do not require an oral hearing of the application.

(5) Any right of appeal to the Supreme Court from the decisions of the Court of Appeal confer#FF0000 by this section shall be exercisable in the case of civil proceedings at the instance of a party thereto, or with the leave of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court at the instance of any other person having an interest in the matter, and in the case of criminal proceedings at the instance of an accused person, or subject to the provisions of this Constitution and any powers confer#FF0000 upon the Attorney-General of the Federation or the Attorney-General of a State to take over and continue or to discontinue such proceeding, at the instance of such other authorities or persons as may be prescribed.

(6) Any right of appeal to the Supreme Court from the decisions of the Court of Appeal confer#FF0000 by this section shall, subject to section 236 of this Constitution, be exercised in accordance with any Act of the National Assembly and rules of Court for the time being in force regulation the powers, practice and procedure of the Supreme Court.

234.
For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction confer#FF0000 upon it by this Constitution any law, the Supreme Court shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than five Justices of the Supreme Court;

Provided that where the Supreme Court is sitting to consider an appeal brought under section 233(2)(b) or (c) of this Constitution, or to exercise its original jurisdiction in accordance with section 232 of this Constitution, the court shall be constituted by seven Justices.

235.
Without prejudice to the powers of the President or of the Governor of a State with respect to prerogative of mercy, no appeal shall lie to any other body or person from any determination of the Supreme Court.

236.
Subject to the provisions of any Act of the National Assembly, the Chief Justice of Nigeria may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the supreme Court.

237. -
(1) There shall be a Court of Appeal.

(2) The Court of Appeal shall consist of:-

(a) a President of the Court of Appeal; and

(b) such number of Justices of the Court of Appeal, not less than forty-nine of which not less than three shall be learned in Islamic personal law, and not less than three shall be learned in Customary law, as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

238. -
(1) The appointment of a person to the office of President of the Court of Appeal shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Justice of the Court of Appeal shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of a Justice of the Court of Appeal unless he is qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than twelve years.

(4) If the office of President of the Court of Appeal is vacant, or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most senior Justice of the Court of Appeal to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment, and the President shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

239. -
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Court of Appeal shall, to the exclusion of any other court of law in Nigeria, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine any question as to whether:

(a) any person has been validly elected to the office of President or vice-president under this Constitution; or.

(b) the term of office of the President or vice-president has ceased; or

(c) the office of President or vice-president has become vacant.

(2) In the hearing and determination of an election petition under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, the Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least three Justices of the Court of Appeal.

240. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to the Exclusion of any other court of law in Nigeria, to hear and determine appeals form the Federal High Court, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Customary Court of Appeal of a State and from decisions of a court martial or other tribunals as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

241. -

(1) An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Federal High Court or a High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases :-

(a) final decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings before the Federal High Court or a High Court sitting at first instance;

(b) where the ground of appeal involves questions of law alone, decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings;

(c) decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation or application of this Constitution;

(d) decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to whether any of the provisions of Chapter IV of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be, contravened in relation to any person;

(e) decisions in any criminal proceedings in which the Federal High Court or a High Court has imposed a sentence of death;

(f) decisions made or given by the Federal High Court or a High court :-

(i) where the liberty of a person or the custody of an infant is concerned;

(ii) where an injunction or the appointment of a receiver is granted or refused;

(iii) in the case of a decision determining the case of a c#FF0000itor or the liability of a contributory or other officer under any enactment relating to companies in respect of misfeasance or otherwise;

(iv) in the case of a decree nisi in a matrimonial cause or a decision in an admiralty action determining liability, and

(v) in such other cases as may be prescribed by any law in force in Nigeria.

(2) Nothing in this section shall confer any right of appeal:-
(a) from a decision of the Federal High Court or any High Court granting unconditional leave to defend an action;

(b) from an order absolute for the dissolution or nullity of marriage in favour of any party who, having had time and opportunity to appeal from decree nisi on which the order was founded, has not appealed from that decrees nisi; and

(c) without the leave of the Federal High Court or a High Court or of the Court of Appeal, from a decision of the Federal High Court or High Court made with the consent of the parties or as to costs only.

242. -
(1) Subject to the provisions of section 241 of this Constitution, an appeal shall lie from decisions of the Federal High Court or a High Court to the Court of Appeal with the leave of the Federal High Court or that High Court or the Court of Appeal.

(2) The Court of Appeal may dispose of any application for leave to appeal from any decision of the Federal High Court or a High Court in respect of any civil or criminal proceedings in which an appeal has been brought to the Federal High Court or a High Court from any other court after consideration of the record of the proceedings, if the Court of Appeal is of the opinion the interests of justice do not require an oral hearing of the application.

243. Any right of appeal to the Court of Appeal from the decisions of the Federal High Court or a High Court confer#FF0000 by this Constitution shall be:-

(a) exercisable in the case of civil proceedings at the instance of a party thereto, or with the leave of the Federal High Court or the High Court or the Court of Appeal at the instance of any other person having an interest in the matter, and in the case of criminal proceedings at the instance of an accused person or, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and any powers confer#FF0000 upon the Attorney-General of the Federation or the Attorney-General of a State to take over and continue or to discontinue such proceedings, at the instance of such other authorities or persons as may be prescribed;

(b) exercised in accordance with any Act of the National Assembly and rules of court for the time being in force regulating the powers, practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal.

244. -

(1) An Appeal shall lie from decisions of a Sharia Court of Appeal to the Court of Appeal as of right in any civil proceedings before the Sharia Court of Appeal with respect to any question of Islamic personal law which the Sharia Court of Appeal is competent to decide.

(2) Any right of appeal to the Court of Appeal from the decisions of a Sharia Court of Appeal confer#FF0000 by this section shall be:-

(a) exercisable at the instance of a party thereto or, with the leave of the Sharia Court of Appeal or of the Court of Appeal, at the instance of any other person having an interest in the matter, and

(b) exercised in accordance with an Act of the National Assembly and rules of court for the time being in force regulating the powers, practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal.

245.
(1) An appeal shall lie from decisions of a Customary Court of Appeal to the Court of Appeal as of right in any civil proceedings before the Customary Court of Appeal with respect to any question of Customary law and such other matters as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

(2) Any right of appeal to the Court of Appeal from the decisions of a Customary Court of Appeal confer#FF0000 by this section shall be:-

(a) exercisable at the instance of a party thereto or, with the leave of the Customary Court of Appeal or of the Court of Appeal, at the instance of any other persons having an interest in the matter;

(b) exercised in accordance with any Act of the National Assembly and rules of court for the time being in force regulating the powers, practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal.

246. -
(1) An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right from:-
(a) decisions of the Code of Conduct Tribunal established in the Fifth Schedule to this Constitution;

(b) decisions of the National Assembly Election Tribunals and Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunals on any question as to whether:-

(i) any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly or of a House of Assembly of a State under this Constitution;

(ii) any person has been validly elected to the office of Governor or Deputy Governor, or

(iii) the term of office of any person has ceased or the seat of any such person has become vacant.

(2) The National Assembly may confer jurisdiction upon the Court of Appeal to hear and determine appeals from any decision of any other court of law or tribunal established by the National Assembly.

(3) The decisions of the Court of Appeal in respect of appeals arising from election petitions shall be final.

247. -
(1) For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction confer#FF0000 upon it by this Constitution or any other law, the Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than three justices of the Court of Appeal and in the case of appeals from:-

(a) a Sharia Court of Appeal if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal learned in Islamic personal law; and

(b) a Customary Court of Appeal, if it consists of not less than three Justices of the Court of Appeal learned in Customary law.

248. Subject to the provisions of any Act of the National Assembly, the President of the Court of Appeal may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal. C - The Federal High Court

249. -

(1) There shall be a Federal High Court.

(2) The Federal High Court shall consist of:-

(a) a Chief Judge of the Federal High Court; and

(b) such number of Judges of the Federal High Court as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

250. -
(1) The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Judge of the Federal High Court shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of the Federal High Court shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of Chief Judge or a Judge of the Federal High Court unless he is qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years.

(4) If the office of Chief Judge of the Federal High Court is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then, until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions the President, shall appoint the most senior Judge of the Federal High Court to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the president shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

251. -
(1) Notwithstanding anything o the contrary contained in this Constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be confer#FF0000 upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, the Federal High Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other in civil causes and matters:-

(a) relating to the revenue of the Government of the Federation in which the said Government or any organ thereof or a person suing or being sued on behalf of the said Government is a party;

(b) connected with or pertaining to the taxation of companies and other bodies established or carrying on business in Nigeria and all other persons subject to Federal taxation;

(c) connected with or pertaining to customs and excise duties and export duties, including any claim by or against the Nigeria Customs Service or any member or officer thereof, arising form the performance of any duty imposed under any regulation relating to customs and excise duties and export duties;

(d) connected with or pertaining to banking, banks, other financial institutions, including any action between one bank and another, any action by or against the Central Bank of Nigeria arising from banking, foreign exchange, coinage, legal tender, bills of exchange, letters of c#FF0000it, promissory noted and other fiscal measures;

Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to any dispute between an individual customer and his bank in respect of transactions between the individual customer and the bank;

(e) arising from the operation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act or any other enactment replacing that Act or regulating the operation of companies incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

(f) any Federal enactment relating to copyright, patent, designs, trade marks and passing-off, industrial designs and merchandise marks, business names, commercial and industrial monopolies, combines and trusts, standards of goods and commodities and industrial standards;

(g) any admiralty jurisdiction, including shipping and navigation on the River Niger or River Benue and their affluent and on such other inland waterway as may be designated by any enactment to be an international waterway, all Federal ports, (including the constitution and powers of the ports authorities for Federal ports) and carriage by sea;

(h) diplomatic, consular and trade representation;

(i) citizenship, naturalisation and aliens, deportation of persons who are not citizens of Nigeria, extradition, immigration into and emigration from Nigeria, passports and visas;

(j) bankruptcy and insolvency; (k) aviation and safety of aircraft; (l) arms, ammunition and explosives; (m) drugs and poisons; (n) mines and minerals (including oil fields, oil mining geological surveys and natural gas); (o) weights and measures; (p) the administration or the management and control of the Federal Government or any of its agencies; (q) subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the operation and interpretation of this Constitution in so far as it affects the Federal Government or any of its agencies; (r) any action or proceeding for a declaration or injunction affecting the validity of any executive or administrative action or decision by the Federal Government or any of its agencies; and (s) such other jurisdiction civil or criminal and whether to the exclusion of any other court or not as may be confer#FF0000 upon it by an Act of the National Assembly.

Provided that nothing in the provisions of paragraph (p), (q) and (r) of this subsection shall prevent a person from seeking #FF0000ress against the Federal Government or any of its agencies in an action for damages, injunction or specific performance where the action is based on any enactment, law or equity.

(2) The Federal High Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction and powers in respect of treason, treasonable felony and allied offences.

(3) The Federal High Court shall also have and exercise jurisdiction and powers in respect of criminal causes and matters in respect of which jurisdiction is confer#FF0000 by subsection (1) of this section.

252. -
(1) For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or as may be conferred by an Act of the National Assembly, the Federal High Court shall have all the powers of the High Court of a State.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the National Assembly may by law make provisions conferring upon the Federal High Court powers additional to those conferred by this section as may appear necessary or desirable for enabling the Court more effectively to exercise its jurisdiction.

253. The Federal High Court shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least one judge of that Court.

254. Subject to the provisions of any Act of the National Assembly, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Federal High Court.

D - The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

255. -

(1) There shall be a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

(2) The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall consist of:-

(a) a Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; and (b) such number of Judges of the High Court as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

256. -
(1) The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of a Chief Judge or a Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja unless he is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years.

(4) If the office of the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most senior Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to perform those functions.

(5) Expect on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the President shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

257.

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 251 and any other provisions of this Constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by law, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil proceedings in which the existence or extent of a legal right, power, duty, liability privilege, interest, obligation or claim is in issue or to hear and determine any criminal proceedings involving or relating to any penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other liability in respect of an offence committed by any person.

(2) The reference to civil or criminal proceedings in this section includes a reference to the proceedings which originate in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and those which are brought before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to be dealt with by the Court in the exercise of its appellate or supervisory jurisdiction.

258. The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least one Judge of that court.

259. Subject to the provisions of any Act of the National Assembly, the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

E- The Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

260.-

(1) There shall be a Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

(2)The Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall consist of -

(a) a Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal. and

(b) such number of Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

261.-

(1) The appointment of a person to the office of the Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold office as Grand Kadi or Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja unless -

(a) he is a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has so qualified for a period of not less than ten years and has obtained a recognised qualification in Islamic law from an institution acceptable to the National Judicial Council; or

(b) he has attended and has obtained a recognised qualification in Islamic law from an institution approved by the National Judicial Council and has held the qualification for a period of not less than twelve years; and

(i) he either has considerable experience in the Practice of Islamic law, or

(ii) he is a distinguished scholar of Islamic law.

(4) If the office of the Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then, until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most senior Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the President shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

262.-

(1) The Sharia Court of Appeal shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal law.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1) of this section, the Sharia Court of Appeal shall be competent to decide -

(a) any question of Islamic personal law regarding a marriage concluded in accordance with that law, including a question relating to the validity or dissolution of such a marriage or a question that depends on such a marriage and relating to family relationship or the guardianship of an infant;

(b) where all the parties to the proceeding are Muslims, any question of Islamic personal law regarding a marriage, including the validity or dissolution of that marriage, or regarding family relationship, a foundling or the guardianship of an infant;

(c) any question of Islamic personal law regarding a wakf, gift, will or succession where the endower, donor, testator or deceased person is a Muslim;

(d) any question of Islamic personal law regarding an infant, prodigal or person of unsound mind who is a Muslim or the maintenance or the guardianship of a Muslim who is physically or mentally infirm; or

(e) where all the parties to the proceedings, being Muslims, have requested the court that hears the case in the first instance to determine that case in accordance with Islamic personal law, any other question.

263. For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly, the Sharia Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least three Kadis of that Court.

264. Subject to the provisions of any Act of the National Assembly, the Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

F - The Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

265.-

(1) There shall be a Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

(2) The Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall consist of -

(a) a President of the Customary Court of Appeal; and

(b) such number of Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

266.

(1) The appointment of a person to the office of the President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to the confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) Apart from such other qualification as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly, a person shall not be qualified to hold the office of President or a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, unless -

(a) he is a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years and, in the opinion of the National Judicial Council he has considerable knowledge and experience in th practice of Customary law; or

(b) in the opinion of the National Judicial Council he has considerable knowledge of and experience in the practice of Customary law.

(4) If the office of the President of the Customary Court of Appeal is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason uanble to perform the functions of the office, then, until a person has been appointd to and assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office hs resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the next most senior Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section hall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the President shall no re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

267. The Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon by an Act of The National Assembly Exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Customary law.

268. For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly, the Customary Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least three Judges of that Court.

269. Subject to the provisions of any Act of the National Assembly, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure I of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

PART II

State Courts

A - High Court of a State

270 -

(1) There shall be a High Court for each State of the Federation.

(2) The High Court of a State shall consist of -

(a) a Chief Judge of the State; and

(b) such members of Judges of the High Court as may be prescribed by a Law of the House of Assembly of the State.

271 -

(1) The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of a High Court of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold office of a Judge of a High Court of a State unless he is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years.

(4) If the office of Chief Judge of a State is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any person unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the Governor of the State shall appoint the most senior Judge of the High Court to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council an appointment pursuant to subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the Governor shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

272 -

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 251 and other provisions of this Constitution, the High Court of a State shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil proceedings in which the existence or extent of a legal right, power, duty, liability, priviledge, interest, obligation or claim is in issue or to hear and determine any criminal proceedings involving or relating to any penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other liability in respect of an offence committed by any person.

(2) The reference to civil or criminal proceedings in this section includes a reference to the proceedings which originate in the High Court of a State and those which are brought before the High Court to be dealt with by the court in the exercise of its appellate or supervisory jurisdiction.

273. For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it under this Constitution or any law, a High court of a State shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least one Judge of that Court.

274. Subject to the provisions of any law made by the House of Assembly of a State, the Chief Judge of a State may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the High Court of the State.

B - Sharia Court of Appeal of a State

275. -

(1) There shall be for any State that requires it a Sharia Court of Appeal for that State.

(2) The Sharia Court of Appeal of the State shall consist of -

(a) A Grandi Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal; and

(b) such member of Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of the State.

276. -

(1) The appointment of a person to the office of the Grandi Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the House of Assembly of the State.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold office as a Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a State unless -

(a) he is a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years and has obtained a recognised qualification in Islamic law from an institution acceptable to the National Judicial Council; or

(b) he has attended and has obtained a recognised qualification in Islamic law from an institution approved by the National Judicial council and has held the qualification for a period of not less than ten years; and

(i) he either has considerable experience in the practice of Islamic law, or

(ii) he is a distinguished scholar of Islamic law.

(4) If the office of the Grandi Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a State is vacant or if a person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the function of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the function s of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the Governor of the State shall appoint the most senior Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the State to perform those functions.

277. -
(1) The Sharia Court of Appeal of a State shall, in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by the law of the State, exercise such appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal law which the court is competent to decide in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1) of this section, the Sharia Court of Appeal shall be competent to decide:-

(a) any question of Islamic personal law regarding a marriage concluded in accordance with that law, including a question relating to the validity or dissolution of such a marriage or a question that depends on such a marriage and relating to family relationship or the guardianship of an infant;

(b) Where all the parties to the proceedings are Muslims, any question of Islamic personal law regarding a marriage, including the validity or dissolution of that marriage, or regarding family relationship, a founding or the guardianship of an infact;

(c) any question of Islamic personal law regarding a wakf, gift, will or succession where the endower, donor, testator or deceased person in a Muslim;

(d) any question of Islamic personal law regarding an infant, prodigal or person of unsound mind who is a muslim or the maintenance or the guardianship of a muslim who is physically or mentally infirm; or

(e) where all the parties to the proceedings, being muslims, have requested the court that hears the case in the first instance to determine that case in accordance with Islamic personal law, any other question.

278. For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any law, a Sheria Court of Appeal of a State shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least three Kadis of that Court.

279. Subject to provisions of any law made by the House of Assembly of the State may make rules regulating the practice and procedure of the Sharia Court of Appeal.

C - Customary Court of Appeal of a State

280. -

(1) There shall be for any State that requires it a Customary Court of Appeal for that State.

(2) The Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall consist of :-

(a) a president of the Customary Court of Appeal of the State; and (b) such number of Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of the State.

281. -
(1) The appointment of a person to the office of President of a Customary Court of Appeal shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the House of Assembly of the State.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of a Customary Court of Appeal shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) Apart from such other qualification as may be prescribed by a law of the House of Assembly of the State, a person shall not be qualified to hold office of a president or of a Judge of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State unless:-

(a) he is a legal practitioner in Nigeria and he has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years and in the opinion of the National Judicial Council he has considerable knowledge and experience in the practice of Customary law; or

(b) in the opinion of the National Judicial Council he has considerable knowledge of and experience in the practice of Customary law.

(4) If the office of President of the Customary Court of Appeal of a State is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the Governor of the State shall appoint the most senior Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal of the State to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment, and the Governor shall not reappoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

282. -
(1) A Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall exercise appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Customary law.

(2) For the purpose of this section, a Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall exercise such jurisdiction and decide such questions as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of the State for which it is established.

283. For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or any law, a Customary Court of Appeal of the State may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Customary Court of Appeal of the State.

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Section 284 (MISSING)

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Part III

Election Tribunals

285. -
(1) There shall be established for the Federation one or more election tribunals to be known as the National Assembly Election Tribunals which shall, to the exclusion of any court or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether:-

(a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly;

(b) the term of office of any person under this Constitution has ceased;

(c) the seat of a member of the Senate or a member of the House of Representatives has become vacant; and

(d) a question or petition brought before the election tribunal has been properly or improperly brought.

(2) There shall be established in each State of the Federation one or more election tribunals to be known as the Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunals which shall, to the exclusion of any court of tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether any person has been elected to the office of Governor or Deputy Governor or as a member of any legislative house.

(3) The Composition of the National Assembly Election Tribunals, Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunals shall be as set out in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution.

(4) The quorum of an election tribunal established under this section shall be Chairman and two other members.

Part IV

Supplemental

286. -
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution:-

(a) where by the Law of a State jurisdiction is confer#FF0000 upon any court for the hearing and extermination of civil causes and of appeals arising out of such causes, the court shall have like jurisdiction with respect to the hearing and determination of Federal causes and of appeals arising out of such causes;

(b) where by the Law of a State jurisdiction is confer#FF0000 upon any court for the investigation, inquiry into, or trial of persons accused of offences against the Laws of the State and with respect to the hearing and determination of appeals arising out of any such trial or out of any proceedings connected therewith, the court shall have like jurisdiction with respect to the investigation, inquiry into, or trial of persons for Federal offences and the hearing and determination of appeals arising out of the trial or proceedings; and

(c) the jurisdiction confer#FF0000 on a court of a State pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be exercised in conformity with the practice and procedure for the time being prescribed in relation to its jurisdiction over civil or criminal causes other than Federal causes.

(2) Nothing in the provisions of this section shall be construed, except in so far as other provisions have been made by the operation of sections 299 and 301 of this Constitution, as conferring jurisdiction as respects Federal causes or Federal offences upon a court presided over by a person who is not or has not been qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria.

(3) In this section, unless the context otherwise requires "cause' includes matter;

"Federal cause" means civil or criminal cause relating to any matter with respect to which the National Assembly has power to make laws; and

"Federal Offence" means an offence contrary to the provisions of an Act of the National Assembly or any law having effect as if so enacted.

287. -
(1) The decisions of the supreme Court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Supreme Court.

(2) The decisions of the Court of Appeal shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Court of Appeal.

(3) The decisions of the Federal High Court, a High Court and of all other courts established by this Constitution shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by other courts of law with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Federal High Court, a High Court and those other courts, respectively.

288. -
(1) In exercising his powers under the foregoing provisions of this Chapter in respect of appointments to the offices of Justice of the Supreme Court and Justices of the Courts of Appeal, the president shall have regard to the need to ensure that there are among the holders of such offices persons learned in Islamic personal law and persons learned in Customary law.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section:-

(a) a person shall be deemed to the learned in Islamic personal law if he is a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than fifteen years in the case of a Justice of the Supreme Court or not less than twelve years in the case of a Justice of the Court of Appeal and has in either case obtained a recognised qualification in Islamic law from an institution acceptable to the National Judicial Council; and

(b) a person shall be deemed to be learned in Customary law if he is a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than fifteen years in the case of a Justice of the Supreme Court or not less than twelve years in the case of a Justice of the Court of Appeal and has in either case and in the opinion of the National Judicial Council considerable knowledge of and experience in the practice of Customary law.

289. No legal practitioner shall be qualified for appointment as a Justice of the supreme Court, the Court of Appeal or a Judge of a Federal High Court or a Judge of a High Court or a Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal whilst he is a member of the National Judicial Council or the Federal Judicial Service Commission or the Judicial Service Committee of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja or a State Judicial Service Commission, and he shall remain so disqualified until a period of three years has elapsed since he ceased to be a member.

290. -

(1) A person appointed to any judicial office shall not begin to perform the functions of that office until he has decla#FF0000 his assets and liabilities as prescribed under this Constitution and has subsequently taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and the Judicial Oath prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.

(2) The oaths aforesaid shall be administe#FF0000 by the person for the time being authorised by law to administer such oaths.

291. -
(1) A judicial officer appointed to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal may retire when he attains the age of sixty-five years and he shall cease to hold office when he attains the age of seventy years.

(2) A judicial officer appointed to any other court, other than those specified in subsection (1) of this section may retire office when he attains the age of sixty-five years.

(3) Any person who has held office as a judicial officer:-

(a) for a period of not less than fifteen years shall, if he retires at or after the age of sixty-five years in the case of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, a Justice of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal or a Justice of the Court of Appeal or at or after the age of sixty years in any other case, be entitled to pension for life at a rate equivalent to his last annual salary and all his allowances in addition to any other retirement benefits to which he may be entitled;

(b) for a period of less than fifteen years shall, if he retires at or after the age of sixty-five years or sixty years, as the case may be, be entitled to pension for life at a rate as in paragraph (a) of this subsection pre rata the number of years he served as a judicial officer in relation to the period of fifteen years, and all his allowances in addition to other retirement benefits to which he may be entitled under his terms and conditions of service; and

(c) in any other case, shall be entitled to such pension and other retirement benefits as may be regulated by an Act of the National Assembly or by a law of a House of Assembly of a State.

(4) Nothing in this section or elsewhere in this Constitution shall preclude the application of the provisions of any other law that provides for pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits for persons in the public services of the Federation or of a State.

292. -
(1) A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances:-

(a) in the case of:-
(i) Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief of Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.

(ii) Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, by the Governor acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State.

Praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct;

(b) in any case, other than those to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, by the President or, as the case may be, the Governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council that the judicial officer be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.

(2) Any person who has held office as a judicial officer shall not on ceasing to be a judicial officer for any reason whatsoever thereafter appear or act as a legal practitioner before any court of law or tribunal in Nigeria.

293. Except for the purposes of exercising any jurisdiction conferred by this Constitution or by any other law, every court established under this Constitution shall be deemed to be duly constituted notwithstanding any vacancy in the membership of the court.

294.

- (1) Every court established under this Constitution shall deliver its decision in writing not later than ninety days after the conclusion of evidence and final addresses and furnish all parties to the cause or matter determined with duly authenticated copies of the decision within seven days of the delivery thereof.

(2) Each Justice of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal shall express and deliver his opinion in writing, or may state in writing that he adopts the opinion of any other Justice who delivers a written opinion:

Provided that it shall not be necessary for the Justices who heard a cause or matter to be present when judgment is to be delivered and the opinion of a Justice may be pronounced or read by any other Justice whether or not he was present at the hearing.

(3) A decision of a court consisting of more than one Judge shall be determined by the opinion of the majority of its members.

(4) For the purpose of delivering its decision under this section, the Supreme court, or the court of Appeal shall be deemed to be duly constituted if at least one member of that court sits for that purpose.

(5) The decision of a court shall not be set aside or treated as a nullity solely on the ground of non-compliance with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section unless the court exercising jurisdiction by way of appeal or review of that decision is satisfied that the party complaining has suffered a miscarriage of justice by reason thereof.

(6) As soon as possible after hearing and deciding any case in which it has been determined or observed that there was non-compliance with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the person presiding at the sitting of the court shall send a report on the case to the Chairman of the National Judicial Council who shall keep the Council informed of such action as the Council may deem fit.

295.

- (1) Where any question as to the interpretation or application of this Constitution arises in any proceedings in any court of law in any part of Nigeria (other than in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court or a High Court) and the court is of the opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court may, and shall if any of the parties to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Federal High Court or a High Court having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria and the Federal High Court or the High Court shall

(a) if it is of opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, refer the question to the Court of Appeal; or

(b) if it is of opinion that the question does not involve a substantial question of law, remit the question to the court that made the reference to be disposed of in accordance with such directions as the Federal High Court or the High Court may think fit to give.

(2) Where any question as to the interpretation or application of this constitution arises in any proceedings in the Federal High Court or a High Court, and the court is of opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Court of Appeal; and where any question is referred in pursuance of this subsection, the court shall give its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision.

(3) Where any question as to the interpretation or application of this constitution arises in any proceedings in the Court of Appeal and the court is of opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Supreme Court which shall give its decision upon the question and give such directions to the Court of Appeal as it deems appropriate.

296. In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, "office" when used with reference to the validity of an election to an office includes the office of President of the Federation, Vice-President of the Federation and Governor or Deputy Governor of a State but does not include the office of President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Speaker of a House of Assembly or any office established by this Constitution.