APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF NIGERIAN COURTS IN CIVIL MATTERS

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APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF NIGERIAN COURTS IN CIVIL MATTERS

Abstract:

The majority of appellants and some appellate courts are ignorant or oblivious of the proper rules of appeal as a result of which a lot of injustices and caprices are associated with appeals; leading to the miscarriage of justice. It is in view of this that the topic of this thesis, namely, “Appellate Jurisdiction of Nigerian Courts in Civil Matters, has been chosen. This study is to present and analyse the nature and extent of the practices and proceedings of appeals in our courts in sivil matters and to show the need for the impartial application of the rules of appeal with the hope that justice would be duly administered to all parties concerned in accordance with the provisions of the law applicable to appeals with the view of avoiding miscarriage of justice0 The study is composed of six chapters. Chapter one is an introduction consisting of nature of appeals, objectives and scope of the thesis as well as the method of approach adopted. vii Chapter two discusses civil appeals in the Upper Area Court which include the historical background of the court, its appellate jurisdiction and procedural matters with regard to appeals in the court. The chapter will also look into civil appeals in the customary Court of Appeal and discuss, generally, application of Customary Law, Historical background of the Courts, its appellate jurisdiction and constitution as well as procedures on appeal to the courto Chapter three examines civil appeals in the High Court and the Sharia Court of Appeal. With regard to the High Court, there will be a brief historical outline of the court, its applicable legislation in respect of appeals, procedure for appeals, how additional evidence will be entertained and the powers of the court. Furthermore, the chapter will deal with brief history of the Sharia Court of Appeal, the applicable legislation, appellate jurisdiction of the court and the procedure for appeal. Chapter four is entirely devoted to examination of civil appeals in the court of Appeal and it includes a historical outline of the court, the applicable legislation, appellate jurisdiction, appeals as of right and appeals with leave. Other areas of viii • discussion in the chapter include statutory exclusion of jurisdiction, coram, jurisdiction to grant interlocutory relief, the “entering” of appeals, conditions and procedure of appeals, powers of the court as well as judgment and orders. Chapter five expounds civil appeals in the Supreme Court. This includes historical background of the court, applicable legislation, its appellate jurisdiction, commencement of proceedings, Notice of appeal, right of appeal, appeal with leave, appeal out of time, record of appeal, filing of briefs, jurisdiction pertaining to interlocutory decision, jurisdiction with regard to final decision, conditions and procedure of appeals, powers of the Supreme Court as well as orders and reviews. Chapter six concludes the thesis by giving a brief summary of what has been discussed in the rest of the chapters, some observations with regard to application of the rules of appeal and, thus, suggestion proferred with the hope that the rules of appeal would be duly applied in that spirit of impartiality which it requires in order to avoid miscarriage of justice and misuse of judicial powers

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