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JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT


1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999

25-(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, the Federal High Court shall have and excise jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other Court 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 part;

(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 organist the Nigeria Customs Services or any member or officer thereof, arising from 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 credit, promissory notes 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.

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

(h) Diplomatic, consular and trade representation;

(i) Citizenship, naturalization 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 criminal and whether to the exclusion of any other court or not as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly. Provided that noting in the provisions of paragraphs (p), (q) and (r) of this subsection shall prevent a person from seeking redress 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 conferred by subsection (1) of this section.

252 (1) For the purpose of excising 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 effective to exercise its jurisdiction.

253. The Federal High Court shall be duty constituted of at least one judge of that Court.

254. Subject to the provision 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.

II. Tribunals (Certain Consequential Amendments, etc) Decree No. 62 1999.

THE FEDERAL MILITARY GOVERNMENT

Hereby decrees as follows:

1. The enactments specified in the first column of parts I and II of the Scheduled to this Decree are amended to the extent set out in the second column of those parts of that Schedule.

2. (1) The Federal High Court or the High Court of a State, as the case may be, shall have jurisdiction to try the offences created under the enactment specified in the Schedule to this Decree.

(2) Accordingly, a tribunal established in any of the enactments specified in the Schedule to this Decree is hereby dissolved.

(3) A charge, claim or Court Process filed before a Tribunal established under any of the enactments specified in the Schedule to this Decree shall be deemed to have been duly filed or served before the Federal High Court or High Court of a State, as the case may be and such charge, claim and Court process shall deemed amended as to title, venue and such other matter as may be appropriate to give effect to this subsection without further assurance than this Decree.

(4) Any order, remand, decision or judgment made by a Tribunal before the commencement of this Decree is hereby preserved.

(5) A decision or judgment of a Tribunal made before the commencement of this Decree shall be enforced in accordance with the procedure or law relating to the enforcement of a decision or judgment of the Tribunal before the commencement of this Decree.

(6) Where before the commencement of this Decree, a matter has been concluded in a Tribunal way for any reason whatsoever unable to deliver the judgment, the judgment may be delivered by a Judge of the Federal High Court or the High Court of a State, as the case may be;

Provided that the judgment shall have been written.

3-(1) Where any part-heard matter is etc. pending before any Tribunal on the date of the making of this Decree the Judge

(a) May, if the parties to the proceedings agree in a civil cause, adopt the proceedings of the Tribunal concerned;

(b) Shall, in a criminal case, try the matter de novo pursuant to this Decree.

(2) All new proceedings shall be brought before the Court in accordance with the rules of procedure of the Court concerned.

4. All criminal proceedings brought before the Court relating to a matter for which the Court has jurisdiction under this decree shall be tried summarily in accordance with section 33 of the Federal High Court Act and rules of procedure made under that Act or under the equivalent section of the relevant High Court Law of the State concerned and rules of procedure made under the law.

5. A civil or criminal proceeding may be commenced and proceeded within any division of the Federal High Court notwithstanding the place of commission of the offence or a cause of action.

6. All proceeding pursuant to this Decree shall be given accelerated hearings.

7-(1) A person convicted or against whom a judgment is given under this Decree may, within 30 days of the conviction or judgment, appeal of the Court of Appeal.

(2) There shall be a right of appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court.

8. In this Decree, unless the context otherwise requires:-

“Court means the Federal High Court or the High Court of a State, as the case may be.

“Tribunal” means a Tribunal established under any of the enactments Specified in the schedule to this Decree. This Decree may be cited as the Tribunals (Certain Consequential Amendments, Etc) Decree 1999.

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