COURT – COMPETENCE OF COURT – When will a Court be said to be competent; effect of defect in competence of Court


“It is trite that a Court is competent to exercise its jurisdiction when: (1) It is properly constituted as regards numbers and qualifications of the members of the bench, and no member is disqualified for one reason or another; and (2) The subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction, and there is no feature in the case which prevents the Court from exercising its jurisdiction; and (3) The case comes before the Court initiated by due process of law, and upon fulfilment of any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction. Any defect in competence is fatal, for the proceedings are a nullity however well conducted and decided. The defect is extrinsic to the adjudication. See MADUKOLU & ORS V. NKEMDILIM (1962) LPELR – 24023 (SC); A.G. LAGOS STATE V. EKO HOTELS & ANOR (2017) LPELR – 43713 (SC); DURBAR HOTEL PLC V. ITYOUGH & ORS (2016) LPELR – 42560 (SC).”  Per ADAMU JAURO, JSC in YONGO & ORS v. HAANONGON & ORS (2022-LCER-46535-SC) (Pp 11 – 12; Paras D – C)

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