JURISDICTION – JURISDICTION OF THE STATE/FEDERAL HIGH COURT – Whether the Federal and State High Court have concurrent jurisdiction to entertain matters on enforcement of fundamental rights


“The rights enshrined in Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) are termed Fundamental for the simple reason that they are inalienable natural rights which stands above the ordinary laws of the land and are primary conditions to civilized existence. It is for their natural inalienability that the law prioritizes their preservation against violation. See Fawehinmi Vs. IGP (2002) 7 NWLR (Pt 767) 606. It is for this reason that Section 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution grants any person who alleges that his fundamental right provided for in Chapter IV of the Constitution has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any state to apply to any High Court in that State for redress. The Court referred to here is definitely not exclusive to High Court of a State but both Federal High Court and State High Court. See Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State & Ors Vs Bukola Oluwaseun Olutayo (2017) LPELR- 43827 (SC). It follows therefore that in matters for enforcement of fundamental rights, both the High Court of a State and the Federal High Court have concurrent Jurisdiction.” Per JOHN INYANG OKORO, JSC in INSP. GABRIEL v. UKPABIO & ORS (2022-LCER-46524-SC) (Pp 23 – 24; Paras C – B)

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