Different Types of Courts in Nigeria & Functions

Different Types of Courts in Nigeria & Functions

Curious about the different types of courts in Nigeria and what they do? Look no further! In this article, we’ll break down the functions of each court in a way that’s easy to understand.

Supreme Court of Nigeria: The Pinnacle (Original & Appellate Jurisdiction)

Nigeria’s highest court, the Supreme Court, has both original and appellate jurisdiction. It has been in operation since the nation gained independence in 1963 and serves as the ultimate authority for appeals from subordinate federal courts and the highest state courts. The decisions made by the Supreme Court are binding on all courts in Nigeria except for the Federal High Court.

Court of Appeal: Evaluating the Trial Landscape

The Court of Appeal, with seventy-two branches across Nigeria’s six zones, is next in the judicial hierarchy after the Supreme Court. Its primary role is to review trial court proceedings, particularly in election-related matters and presidential terms.

Federal High Court: Navigating Federal Territories

The Federal High Court, located in over fifteen states, handles civil matters such as the Federal Government’s revenue, taxation, customs, excise charges, banking, admiralty, and citizenship.

State High Court: Parallel to Federal High Court

Similar to the Federal High Court, State High Courts tackle both civil and criminal disputes, drawing jurisdiction from various lower courts.

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National Industrial Court: Championing Economic Justice

The National Industrial Court specializes in economic laws and aims to resolve trade disputes involving workers, employers, and trade unions.

Sharia Court of Appeal: Embracing Religious Jurisprudence

Functioning mainly in Sharia-practicing regions, the Sharia Court of Appeal interprets and reviews civil matters exclusively related to Islamic law.

Customary Court of Appeal: Upholding Tradition

Designed to operate alongside the regular courts, the Customary Court of Appeal deals specifically with civil disputes rooted in customary law.

Magistrate and District Courts: Grassroots Legal Resolution

Magistrate and District Courts operate as lower division courts under state authority, offering swift decisions at the grassroots level on civil law matters.

In conclusion, the Nigerian judicial system weaves a tapestry of legal institutions, each contributing uniquely to the country’s legal framework. This comprehensive guide aims to provide clarity on the functions of each court, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intricate workings of justice in Nigeria.

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