Section 286-296 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Section 286 to 296 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Section 286 to 296 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 is under Part IV (Supplemental) of Chapter VII (The Judicature) of the constitution.

Section 286 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Jurisdiction of state courts in respect of federal causes

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution-
(a) where by the Law of a State jurisdiction is conferred upon any court for the hearing and determination 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 conferred 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 conferred 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 practice as a legal
practitioner in Nigeria.

(3) In this section, unless the context otherwise requires –
” causes” includes matter;
“Federal cause” means civil or criminal cause relating to provisions of the National Assembly has power to make
laws; and
“Federal offence” means an offence contrary to the provisions of Act of the National Assembly or any law having
effect as if so enacted.

Section 287 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Enforcement of decisions

(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.

Section 288 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Appointment of persons leaned in Islamic personal law and Customary law

(1) In exercising his powers under the foregoing provisions of this Chapter in respect of appointments to the
offices of Justices of the Supreme court and Justices of the Court 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 be 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 recognized 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.

Section 289 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Disqualification of certain legal practitioners

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 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 member.

Section 290 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Declaration of assets and liabilities: oaths of judicial officers

(1) A person appointed to any judicial office shall not begin to perform the functions of that office until he has
declared 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 administered by the person for the time being authorized by law to administer such
oaths.

Section 291 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Tenure of office and pension rights of judicial officers

(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 when he attains the age of sixty years and he shall cease to hold 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 pro 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 case, shall be entitled to such pension and other retirement benefits as may be regulated by an Act o 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 service of the
Federation or a State.

Section 292 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Removal of other judicial officers from office

(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 Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of
the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal
Capital Territory, 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.

Section 293 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Vacancies

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.

Section 294 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Determination of causes and matters

(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.

Section 295 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Reference of questions of law

(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;
o r
(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.

Section 296 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Interpretation

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.

Credit: https://publicofficialsfinancialdisclosure.worldbank.org/sites/fdl/files/assets/law-library-files/Nigeria_Constitution_1999_en.pdf

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