COURT – POWER OF COURT – Extent and scope of judicial powers vested in the Courts by virtue of Section 6(6) of the Constitution


“Under Section 6(6) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (supra), the judicial powers duly vested in the Courts are far-reaching: 6(6). The judicial powers vested in accordance with the provisions of this Section: – (b) shall extend to all matters between persons or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria and to actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that persons. In the locus classicus, SENATOR ADESANYA VS PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA (1981) 2 NCLR 358, this Court, in laying a firm foundation for the jurisprudence locus standi, aptly postulated: The section material to the issue is Section 1979 Constitution (which is un pari materia with Section 6(6)(b) of the extant 1999 Constitution. This Sub-section expressed the scope and content of the judicial powers vested by the Constitution in the Courts, within the purview of the Sub-section. Although, the powers appear to be wide, they are limited in scope and content to only matters, actions and proceedings “for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligation of that person. It seems to me that upon the construction of the Sub-section, it is only when the civil rights and obligation of the person, who involves the jurisdiction of the Court, are in issue for determination that the judicial power of the Courts may be invoked. Per Bello, JSC (as the learned Lord then was) @ 385.” Per SAULAWA, JSC in APC & ORS v. ESIEC & ORS (2021-LCER-40460-SC) (Pp 67 – 68 Paras A – B).

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