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

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“It is well settled that the Federal High Court and State High Courts have concurrent jurisdiction in hearing matters of breach or likely breach of any of the fundamental rights enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution – see IHIM v. Maduagwu & Anor (2021) LPELR-53906(SC), where this Court per Okoro, JSC, aptly stated that: “A community reading of Section 46 of the 1999 Constitution and Order 1(2) of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules would reveal undisputedly that both the Federal High Court and the High Court of a State have concurrent jurisdiction on matters of breach or likely breach of any of the fundamental rights enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution. This has been the consistent position of this Court upheld in an avalanche of cases, some of which are Jack V. University of Agriculture, Makurdi (2004) (2004) 5 NWLR (Pt. 865) 208; Olutola V University of Ilorin (2004) 18 NWLR (Pt. 905) 416; Ogugu V. The State (1994) 9 NWLR (Pt. 366) 1.” See also EFCC V. Reinl (2020) LPELR-49387 (SC), wherein Kekere-Ekun, JSC, restated what she said in F.U.T. Minna V. Olutayo (2017) LPELR-43827(SC): “It would negate the principle behind the guarantee of fundamental rights if a citizen were to have any obstacle placed in the path of enforcing those rights. There is no ambiguity in the provisions of the Constitution or of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules regarding which Court has jurisdiction to entertain an application for the enforcement of fundamental rights…. So long as the enforcement of the Applicant’s fundamental right is the main claim in the Suit and not an ancillary claim, the Federal High and State High Court, including the High Court of the FCT have concurrent jurisdiction to entertain it.” Per AMINA ADAMU AUGIE, JSC in INSP. GABRIEL v. UKPABIO & ORS (2022-LCER-46524-SC) (Pp 24 – 26; Paras D – A)

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