JURISDICTION/APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS OF ADMINISTRATION OF

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Presentations text content in JURISDICTION/APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS OF ADMINISTRATION OF

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JURISDICTION/APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS OF ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 2015 TO STATE HIGH COURTS

A PAPER PRESENTED TO THE COMMISSION

BY

AMEDU J. SULE (ESQ)

PROSECUTION DEPT. ICPC

AT

THE AUDITORIUM ICPC HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA

ON 26

TH

OCTOBER, 2015

Slide2

INTRODUCTION

The

imperative of understanding or the relevance of the topic

‘’

JURISDICTION OF ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 2015’

’ to state high courts in Nigeria can never be over emphasised.

Slide3

INTRODUCTION cont.

By virtue of the provisions of section 61(3) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, though a federal enactment, it however confers jurisdiction on the state High Courts to handle and determine offences created therein.

In

another words all the offences contained therein are

tried

by the state High Courts.

Slide4

INTRODUCTION cont.

Prior to the enactment 0f the Administration of Criminal Justice

Act

2015, state High Courts

conferred

with jurisdictions to try Federal offences particularly

the states within Southern

part

of Nigeria had recourse to the Criminal Procedure Act Cap. C. 41 Laws of the Federation with commencement period of 1

st

June, 1945.

While

in the case of Federal Capital Territory, it was Criminal Procedure (Northern States) Act Cap. C. 42 Laws of the Federation 2004.

Slide5

INTRODUCTION cont.

By virtue of the provisions of section 493 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, CPA, Cap. C

.

41, CPC Act Cap. C. 42, Administration of Justice Commission Act Cap. A3 laws of the Federation 2004

are

all

REPPEALED.

What

then is the position of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000

and other

similar Federal enactments

vis

a

vice

the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015?

Slide6

INTRODUCTION cont.

This paper though limited in

scope,

shall attempt to

examine the meaning of Federal

offence, sources of jurisdiction of Courts in Nigeria, provisions of 1999 Constitution (as amended),

provisions

of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

And further attempts

to see whether or not the state High Court would benefit

from huge or enamours advantages created in the administration of criminal justice delivery.

Slide7

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Definition of terms

We shall only attempt to define some of the terms in operational sense in order to avoid technical problems associated with definition.

Federal laws:

Section

494 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act

2015,

sees it as

‘’...

any act enacted by the National Assembly having effect with respect to the Federation or any part

thereof’’;

and

any enactment prior to 15

th

October, 1960, which under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has effect with respect to the Federation or any part thereof.’’

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DEFINITION cont.

Jurisdiction:

According to the

Halbury’s

laws of England, jurisdiction is defines as;  

‘’ the authority which a court has to decide matters

that litigated before it or to take cognisance of

matters presented in a formal way for its decision.’’

In the case of

Ajomale

Vs

Yaduat

(No.1){1991}5SCNJ172

‘’ that jurisdiction is the right in the court to hear and

determine the dispute between parties ....’’ 

Also in the words of a University Don Ben O.

Igwenyi

’jurisdiction is the power or authority of a court of law

or tribunal to go into the matter and deliver a binding

judgement’’ 

Slide9

DEFINITION cont.

HIGH COURT

Section 494 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, defines court in the following terms;

‘’includes Federal courts, the magistrates

court and Federal Capital Territory.’’

So much for definition of terms,

Please note that in the course of discussion, this definition of court would be referred to or considered.

 

Slide10

SOURCES OF JURISDICTION

SOURCES OF JURISDICTION OF NIGERIAN COURTS

It must be noted that jurisdiction of Nigerian Courts do not come as a bolt from the blue.

Nor do courts indulged in the rat race of jostling for jurisdiction. 

These sources include:

a) The Constitution

b) Statutes; and

c) Inherent powers

Slide11

SOURCES OF JURISDICTION cont.

The Constitution:

This is the primary source of jurisdiction of superior courts of record in Nigeria. See the case of

Ada

Vs NYSC (2004)13 NWLR (pt.891) at 639.

The Statutes:

Aside from the constitution, Statutes are next veritable source of jurisdiction of Courts.

Example, The Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000. Please note section 61(3) of the Act

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SOURCES OF JURISDICTION cont.

Inherent Powers:

Adjunct to the other two sources of jurisdiction highlighted above is the inherent powers of court.

Section 6(6) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides thus:

‘’The judicial powers vested in accordance with this section shall extend not withstanding anything to the contrary in the constitution to all inherent power and sanction of a court of law.’’

For instance the court has powers to regulate its proceedings, punish for contempt and prevent abuse of its process/powers.

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JURISDICTION OF STATE HIGH IN RESPECT OF FEDERAL MATTERS

Section 286 (1) of 1999 constitution (as amended) provides as follows:

a) Where by the law of a state jurisdiction is conferred upon any court for the hearing and determination of civil causes and of appeals arising out of such causes, the court shall have like jurisdiction with respect to the hearing and determination to the Federal causes and appeals arising out of such causes;

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JURISDICTION OF STATE HIGH cont.

b) Where by the law of a state jurisdiction is conferred upon any court for the investigation, inquiry into, or trial of persons accused of offences against the laws of the state and with the respect of hearing and determination of appeals arising out of any such trial or out of any proceedings connected therewith, the court shall have like jurisdiction with respect to investigation, inquiry into, or trial of persons for Federal offences and the hearing and determination of appeals arising out of the trial or proceedings; and

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JURISDICTION OF STATE HIGH cont.

c) The jurisdiction conferred on a court of a State pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be exercised in conformity with the practice and procedure for the time being prescribed in relation to its jurisdiction over civil or criminal causes

OTHER THAN FEDERAL CAUSES.

Slide16

JURISDICTION OF STATE HIGH cont.

 

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed, except in so far as other provisions have been made by the operation of sections 299 and 301 of this Constitution, as conferring jurisdiction in respect of Federal causes or Federal offences upon a court presided over by a person who is not or has not been qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria.

Slide17

JURISDICTION OF STATE HIGH cont.

(3) In this section, unless the context otherwise requires-

‘’causes’’ includes matters;

‘’Federal causes’’ means civil or criminal

causes relating to any matter with respect

to which the National assembly has power

to make law; and

‘’Federal offence’’ means an offence contrary to

the provision of an Act of National assembly

or any law having effect as if so enacted.

Slide18

 JURISDICTION UNDER ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 2015

By virtue of the provisions of section 2(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 the issue of jurisdiction is settled beyond all reasonable doubt. It provides thus;

‘’without prejudice to section 86 of this Act, the provisions of this Act shall apply to criminal trials for Federal offences established by an Act of National Assembly and other offences punishable in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.’’

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JURISDICTION UNDER ACJA 2015

Section 2 (2) provides as follows;

‘’the provisions of this Act shall not apply to a court martial.’’

It must be submitted with respect that the only court that its jurisdiction is ousted is court martial. It therefore follows that all courts of competent jurisdictions that are not expressly ousted have their jurisdiction intact and save. The issue of ouster of jurisdiction must be expressly stated in the statute.

Slide20

JURISDICTION UNDER ACJA 2015

The Supreme court in the case of

Sonnar

(Nig.) Ltd Vs Nord Wind (1987) 4 NWLR (pt. 66) 520 at 576 as per

Oputa

JSC stated as follows:-

‘’our courts should not be eager to twist

themselves of jurisdiction conferred on

them by the constitution and other laws,

court guard rather jealously their jurisdiction

and even where there is an ouster of that

jurisdiction by statute it should be clear and

unequivocal words ....’’

Slide21

JURISDICTION UNDER ACJA 2015

Please note

Section 494 defines terms used in the Act. Some of the terms are relevant to this topic. These include but not limited to the following:-

a)‘’Court’’ – include Federal High Courts,

Magistrate Courts ...... etc

b)‘’High Court’’ means, the Federal High Court

or the High Court of Federal Capital

Territory.

Slide22

JURISDICTION UNDER ACJA 2015

All the above provisions do not pretend to oust the jurisdiction of other courts especially donated by the 1999 constitution (as amended).

See the provisions of section 1 (3) of 1999 constitution (as amended).

Note , the issue of jurisdiction, powers, practices and procedure of court are contained in supplemental part of the constitution.

Slide23

CONCLUSION

With regard to the Federal offences, it is generally submitted that State High Courts are clothed with jurisdiction to try same under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

The corrupt practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000 although , a federal law confers jurisdiction on the state High Courts and such benefits fully from the Administration Of Criminal Justice Act 2015 .

Slide24

CONCLUSION

THANK YOU

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