Brief History of Court of Appeal


Under the Constitution of Nigeria, the Court of Appeal is established as a Court for the entire Federation. It is also an intermediate or appellate tribunal between the Supreme Court of Nigeria and other tribunals.

The Court of Appeal is given both original and appellate jurisdictions under the Constitution.

It has the original jurisdiction, to the exclusion of any other Court in Nigeria, to hear and determine any question, as to whether-

a). Any person has been validly elected to the office of President or Vice-President under this Constitution, or;

b). The term of office of the President or Vice President has ceased; or

c). The office of President or Vice-President has become vacant;

The Court also acts as the clearing house for judicial appeals coming from the:

a). Courts of the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (High Courts, Customary Courts of Appeal, Sharia Courts of Appeal);

b). Courts for the Federation (Federal High Court, National Industrial Court, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Election Tribunals, Investment and Security Tribunals and Disciplinary Tribunals of Regulatory Bodies for various professionals).

An appeal arising from a decision of the Court of Appeal may go on to the final destination of all appeals: the Supreme Court. However, the Court of Appeal has the final appellate jurisdiction, to the exclusion of even the Supreme Court, over appeals arising from election petitions with regard to:

a). Whether any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly of a State under this Constitution; or

b). Any person has been validly elected to the office of Governor or Deputy Governor.

The head of the Court is called the President, a position statutorily designated as equal to the position of a Justice of the Supreme Court. Currently, the Court of Appeal maintains about 10 judicial divisions in 10 cities of Nigeria to service specific States of Nigeria.