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F. G. N. v. Oshiomhole

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA

ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION

V

ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE

NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS

COURT OF APPEAL

( ABUJA DIVISION )

ISA AYO SALAMI, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

ZAINAB ADAMU BULKACHUWA, JCA

ALBERT GBADEBO ODUYEMI, JCA

CA/A/5/2004

THURSDAY, 5TH FEBRUARY, 2004

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - Constitution 1999, section 251(1) paragraph ( a) - The words ‘suing or being sued’ therein - Purport of

COURT - Federal High Court - Exclusive jurisdiction of in actions in which the Federal Government or its agencies is a party

COURT - Jurisdiction of court - What determines

COURT - Need not to make order which is not enforceable

COURT - State High Court - Territorial jurisdiction of - Limited nature of

COURT - Where lacks jurisdiction to entertain a suit - Effect

COURT - Whether can assume jurisdiction over ancillary claims when it has no jurisdiction to entertain the main claim

COURT - Whether parties can by consent confer jurisdiction thereon

GOVERNMENT - Federal Government or its agencies - Exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in matters in which it is a party

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Order not enforceable - Need for court not to make

JURISDICTION - Court - When has no jurisdiction to entertain main claim -  Whether can assume jurisdiction over ancillary claims

JURISDICTION - Jurisdiction of court - What determines

JURISDICTION - Issue of - Fundamental nature of - Where a court lacks jurisdiction to entertain a suit - Effect

JURISDICTION - Lack of by a court - Where exercises jurisdiction - Whether occasions injustice to law, court and parties

JURISDICTION - Objection on jurisdiction - Whether can be raised before pleadings

JURISDICTION - Territorial jurisdiction of the High Court of a State Limited nature of

JURISDICTION - Whether parties can by consent confer jurisdiction on a court

PARTIES - Whether can by consent confer jurisdiction on a court

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Court - Whether can assume jurisdiction over ancillary claims when it has no jurisdiction to entertain the main claim

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Objection on jurisdiction - Whether can be raised before pleadings

STATUTE - Constitution 1999, section 251(1) paragraphs (a) - The word ‘suing or being sued’ therein - Purport of

WORDS AND PHRASES - The words ‘suing or being sued’ in paragraph ( a) of section 251(1) of 1999 Constitution - Purport of

Issue:

Whether or not the lower court has jurisdiction to entertain the substantive case.

Facts:

This is an interlocutory appeal against the ruling of Gunmi, C.J. of the

Abuja Capital Territory High Court of Justice delivered on 16th January, 2004  refusing the appellants’ prayer for an order of interlocutory injunction. In the application the applicants asked for the following order: “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants/respondents by themselves, their agents, servants and/or privies or otherwise howsoever from embarking on any mass protest and/or strike or any other form or manner of protest on the 21st of January, 2004 or at any time thereafter pending the determination of the substantive suit.”

The application was supported with affidavit to which one document was attached. The respondents gave a reply to the affidavit in support of the motion by deposing to a counter affidavit. Learned counsel to both parties were heard viva voce and the learned Chief Judge in his ruling refused the application and dismissed it.

The appellants being dissatisfied have appealed to the Court of Appeal. The respondents were also not fully happy with the decision of the learned trial Chief Judge, and being aggrieved with the portion of the decision asserting the competence of the court, filed a notice of appeal.