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NIGERIAN JUDICATURE



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RULES OF 36 STATE COURTS
RULES OF ALL FEDERAL COURT
LAGOS STATE HIGH COURT JUDGES
JUDGMENTS OF LAGOS HIGH COURT
LAGOS STATE COURT LOCATIONS
Address: Ikeja Judicial Division (Headquarters) Lagos State Judiciary, Oba Akinjobi way, Ikeja, Lagos Telephone: 07042760365 
LAGOS STATE JUDICIARY

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. Lagos State 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;
  • Appellate 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;
  • judicial research or regulatory institutions applicable to the state;
  • the 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;
  • quasi-judicial bodies and panels which activities are reviewed by the judiciary;
  • Alternative 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 STATE JUDICIARY

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.

The Judiciary 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.

It 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.

Its reach even extends to the review of decisions of disciplinary panels of various professional and corporate organizations in the State.

Courts 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 classified.

However, the 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.


HIERARCHY OF COURTS

The Supreme 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.


The State High Court is the highest ranking tribunals under the direct control of the State government. It is followed by the Magistrate and Customary Courts. Lagos State, unlike many other States in the southern axis of Nigeria does not have a Customary Court of Appeal with equal and co-ordinate jurisdiction. The Chief Justice of Lagos State, is therefore, as a matter of fact, on all fronts,
the head of the State's judiciary.

The 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.


The magistrate and customary courts bring up the lowest rungs of the Lagos Judiciary.


LAGOS STATE JUDICIARY - BASIC STATISTICAL HOTLINE

S/N

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

1.

Number of Cases Defended by Office

of the Public Defender

1,477

1,928

 

 

2.

Number of Lawyers

314

429

 

 

3.

Number of Judges

43

49

 

 

4.

Number of pending cases

20

23

 

 

5.

Number of Criminal Cases Filed

in Magistrate Court

6,926

7,621

 

 

 

6.

Number of Criminal Cases Filed

in High Court

628

2,023

 

 

7.

Number of Criminal Cases Treated

in Magistrate Court

 3,588

4,470

 

 

8.

Number of Criminal Cases Treated

in High Court

824

409

 

 

9.

Percentage of Cases Tried and Sentenced

17

61

 

 

10.

Number of mobile Courts

7

7

 

 

11.

Number of High courts Constructed

24

24

 

 

12.

Number of High Courts Rehabilitated

90

90

 

 

13.

Number of Magistrate Courts Constructed

90

90

 

 

14.

Number of Matters Treated by Citizen Mediation Centre

14,043

22,320

 

 

 

Source: Lagos State Government : http://www.lagosstate.gov.ng/statistics/SH.pdf


STATE HIGH COURT


This Court has jurisdiction over all matters within the constitutional competence of Lagos State as one of Nigeria's 36 States. In April, 2001, the Court was divided into 5 specialized divisions through Practice Directions No. PD/II/C.1/LS No.1 of 2001 with a commencement date of 1st Day of May, 2001.


It is currently made up of to the year 2001, the High Court of Lagos State sat as one undifferentiated division. In April 2001, the CJ (Justice Christopher Olatunde Segun) issued Practice Directions No PD/ II /C.1/LS No 1 of 2001 and thereby created the following specialised Divisions with effect from the 1st day of May 2001. The Divisions of the High Court that have since commenced operation are:

 

1.    The Criminal Division

 

2.    The Land Division

 

3.    The Probate and Family Division

 

4.    The Commercial Division

 

5.    The General Civil Division

 

 

Additionally, purely on a territorial basis, the High Court of Lagos State is organised into four (4) territorial or Judicial Divisions as follows:

  • Ikeja Judicial Division
  • Lagos Judicial Division
  • Epe Judicial Division
  • Ikorodu Judicial Division

Ikeja Judicial Division covers the whole of the former Colony province. Lagos Judicial Division has responsibility for Lagos Island, Lagos mainland, Apapa, Victoria Island and Ikoyi while Epe Judicial Division covers the whole of Epe area. Ikorodu Judicial Division has only just been created and it covers the whole of Ikorodu area.



LAGOS STATE JUDICIARY: MALE - FEMALE DISTRIBUTION

 

 

 


Total

2009

2010

2011

 

 

 

 

Male

 

Female

 

Male

 

Female

 

Male

 

Female

1.

Judicial Officers

184

128

56

 

 

 

 

2.

High Court Judges

51

18

33

 

 

 

 

3.

Chief Magistrates Grade I

14

2

14

 

 

 

 

4.

Chief Magistrates Grade 2

9

0

9

 

 

 

 

5.

Senior Magistrates Grade 1

18

4

14

 

 

 

 

6.

Senior Magistrates Grade 2

33

21

12

 

 

 

 

7.

Magistrates Grade 1

31

22

9

 

 

 

 

8.

5 Most Senior Judges of the State High Court

5

5

0

 

 

 

 


 

MAGISTRATE COURT
The Magistrate Courts level of Lagos State's judiciary serves a very critical function most active court in the whole of Nigeria serving the very large population of Africa's second most populous city. It is reputedly, in terms of processes and facilities, Nigeria's most sophisticated lower court. It also has, by far, the largest number of female judges, in any judicial circuit, in Nigeria - and arguably, all of Africa.

 

1.     Ikeja Magisterial District

 

2.     Lagos Island Magisterial District

 

3.     Yaba Magisterial District

 

4.     Apapa Magisterial District

 

5.     Ikorodu Magisterial District

 

6.     Badagry Magisterial District

 

7.     Epe Magisterial District

 

The largest magisterial district is the one at Yaba with sub-districts located at Botanical Gardens, Ebute-Metta, Mushin and Surulere.

CUSTOMARY COURT
Customary Courts are Courts located at the lowest (or grassroots) level and they are spread all over Lagos State. There are two grades of such Courts known as Grade "A" and Grade "B". Customary Courts are manned by a panel of one President and not less than three other judges referred to as Members.

There are two grades of customary courts known as Grade "A" and Grade "B". Customary Courts are manned by a panel of one President and not less than three other judges referred to as Members.



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