Chapter VII – The Judicature, Part I – Federal Courts, B – The Court of Appeal

Chapter VII – The Judicature, Part I – Federal Courts

B – The Court of Appeal

 

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 I 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 o 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 the 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 validity 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 determine 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 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 from the Federal High Court, the High Court of the Federation Capital Territory, Abuja, High Court of a state, Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Sharia Court of Appeal of a state, 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 creditor 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 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 the decreenisi on which the order was founded, has not appealed from that decree nisi; and

(c) without the leave of the Federal High Court or a High Court or of Appeal, from a decision of the Federal High Court 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 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 that 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 conferred 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 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 conferred 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 conferred 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 conferred 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 person 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 a 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 conferred 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 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.