Thirty six States and a
Federal Capital Territory, Abuja make up the
Nigerian Federation. Each of those States is
empowered to establish, maintain and develop
judicial institutions, processes and human
capabilities necessary to assure a system of
law and order within their respective domains.
is one of them.
The State's Judicature is made up:
- of the judges, lawyers,
non-judge staff of judicial centers;
- Lawyers, the local
chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association,
paralegal and support staff of law firms in
the State that work its judicial centers;
bodies, like the Supreme Court of Nigeria
and the Court of Appeal which have
obligatory jurisdiction, at statutorily
defined stages over the tribunals that
operate in the State.
research or regulatory institutions
applicable to the state;
Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, local, customary and international
laws applicable in the State as well as
Court precedents, internal Court rules and
procedures that bind its judiciary;
bodies and panels which activities are
reviewed by the judiciary;
Dispute Resolution centers in the State;
- Support and regulatory
institutions in the State;
- Law libraries, police,
prison services and other;
- other arms and
department of government which existence are
critical to the funding, maintenance and
appointment into the State’s judicial and
related centers; and
- the people and
stakeholders of the State for whom the State’s
judiciary and other dispute resolution
processes and facilities of the State exist.
The Judiciary of
the State is a very key component of the its
judicature. It is made up of judges, non-judge
members of staff of the State judicial
service, courts/tribunals and other judicial
facilities, records and subsisting judgments
obtained within the jurisdiction of the State
court system which its courts are obligated to
defend and enforce.
exist, chiefly, to interpret, apply and direct
the enforcement of the laws, customs, and
conventions that make up the State’ legal
system. It’s sphere also extends to the
protection or preservation of contracts, rights
and freedoms that define the socio-political and
economic space of the State.
also helps to preserve and protect the rights
and freedoms of individuals and corporate bodies
in the State from the over-bearing reach of
State officialdom or from other non-state
entities – including multinational and local
organizations that operate in the State.
reach even extends to the review of decisions of
disciplinary panels of various professional and
corporate organizations in the State.
or tribunals found in the State could be broadly
classified as national, state courts. Federal
courts have jurisdiction over certain federal
matters or objects in any corner of Nigeria.
These include the Federal High Court; National
Industrial Court; Code of Conduct Tribunal,
Investment and Securities Tribunal, etc. These
courts are either situated within the State or
at a regional headquarter where the State is
class of courts with the greater presence and
degree of interaction with local residents are
State courts. These include the State High
Court; Magistrate Courts; Customary Court of
Appeal and Customary/Native Courts, etc.
In recent times,
alternative dispute resolution practices are
becoming integrated into the judicial
processes of Nigeria. Thus, not only are
arbitral and mediated agreements being given
the imprimateur of the Courts for enforcement,
they are also being statutorily welded into
State courts – as multi-door Courts.
Court sits as the final appellate judicial
authority over all the judicial and
quasi-judicial processes in the State, followed
by the Court of Appeal.
State High Court and Customary Court of Appeal
are the highest ranking tribunals under the
direct control of the State government. They
also have co-ordinate jurisdiction–equal and
independent standing- between themselves but are
restricted to matters and objects statutorily
assigned to them.
Nonetheless, in spite of that, the Chief Justice
of the State High State is regarded as the head
of its judiciary.
Federal High Court of the in the State and other
federal tribunals of co-ordinate jurisdiction,
like the National Industrial Court, Electoral
Tribunals, Code of Conduct Bureau and special
tribunals like the Disciplinary Body of various
Professional bodies also have equal but
independent standing with the top state
tribunals even though their jurisdictions are
different. They operate within the State but are
not under the control of the State government as
their operational dependency resides in the
federal government - or for the disciplinary
tribunals, on the control and funding of the
mechanism designated for them - usually by
statute. Each of them cannot review a decision
of the other and appeal lie from them straight
to the Court of Appeal.
courts and the customary
courts bring up the lower rung of the judiciary
of the State.