Tag: industrial court

Is Industrial court bound by Sheriffs and Civil Process Act?

There is currently a legal logjam as to whether the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, specifically Section 97, applies to a writ issued by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

As of today, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which was created pursuant to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration Act, 2015), has about 15 divisions in about 15 states of the federation.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria is a superior court of record by virtue of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration Act, 2010). The Alteration Act amended sections 6, 84, 240, 243, 254A-F, 287, 289, 292, 294, 295, 316 and 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and its 3rd and 7th Schedule.

There is currently a legal logjam as to whether the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, specifically Section 97, applies to a writ issued by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

As of today, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which was created pursuant to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration Act, 2015), has about 15 divisions in about 15 states of the federation.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria is a superior court of record by virtue of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration Act, 2010). The Alteration Act amended sections 6, 84, 240, 243, 254A-F, 287, 289, 292, 294, 295, 316 and 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and its 3rd and 7th Schedule.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria is a court of coordinate jurisdiction with the Federal High Court, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and state high courts. The National Industrial Court is not, by its specialised nature, superior to other courts, neither is it above compliance with the Act of National Assembly for the time being in force.

The emphasis of the Court of Appeal in the judgment, which dwelt on the dichotomy of the former and the latter provisions of the Act or the idea of “special and general provision of the Act”, defeats the purpose of the law. The Act was enacted with the commencement date of June 1, 1945. No one would have thought in 1945 that there would be a Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria or the Federal Capital Territory High Court. The provisions of sections 4 and 315 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, obliterate any ambiguity arising from a narrow definition of the law made in the 1945 Laws of the Federation.

The National Industrial Court is a high court to which Part VII applies because the concern of the part is the issuance and service of court processes in any state of the federation or the Federal Capital Territory. The provision of the National Industrial Court (Civil Procedure) Rules is a subsidiary legislation and cannot be substituted for or override an Act of the National Assembly. The compliance with the Rules of the court without the Act of the National Assembly would not save the process and service of the court process that violates the Act of the National Assembly from being invalid, null and void.

Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal, by reason of Section 243(4) of the Constitution is the final court in appeals emanating from decisions of the National Industrial Court. This judgment of the Court of Appeal is bound to apply and be followed by the Justices of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria until it is reviewed.

Awomolo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, wrote from Abuja

 

 

 

 

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