Chapter VII – The Judicature, Part I – Federal Courts, C – The Federal High Court

Chapter VII – The Judicature, Part I – Federal Courts

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 the 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 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 those functions of that office 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 to the 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 exercise 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 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 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 the 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 affluents 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 conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly:

Provided that nothing 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 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.