DR. J.O.J. OKEZIE V. THE FEDERAL ATTORNEY GENERAL & ANOR
In The Supreme Court of Nigeria
On Monday, the 11th day of June, 1979
DARNLEY A. R. ALEXANDER Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
GEORGE SODEINDE SOWEMIMO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
AYO GABRIEL IRIKEFE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
MOHAMMED BELLO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
CHUKWUNWEIKE IDIGBE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
ANDREWS OTUTU OBASEKI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
KAYODE ESO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
J.O.J. OKEZIE Appellant(s)
1.THE FEDERAL ATTORNEY GENERAL
2. MR. G. IDRIS (Secretary, Nigerian Constituent Assembly) Respondent(s)
A. R. ALEXANDER, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Ruling): The purported statement of claim and the purported claims in this matter are hereby struck out, counsel for the “plaintiff” having conceded that the Supreme Court of Nigeria has no jurisdiction in the matter under the Constitution of the Federation, No.20 of 1963, which is the existing constitution under which the Supreme Court is empowered to exercise jurisdiction, whether original or appellate jurisdiction. Counsel also withdrew the claim in the circumstances.
This court found it necessary during the argument of counsel to point out that Section 114 of the existing Constitution of the Federation was suspended by Decree No. 1 of 1966, Schedule 1, the Constitution (Suspension and Modification) Decree 1966 and has not been revived. The court also found it necessary to point out that Supreme Court Rules, 1977 on which counsel relied, in particular Order 5, cannot confer jurisdiction on, or enlarge the jurisdiction of, the Supreme Court, since the Supreme Court cannot confer jurisdiction on itself and thereby usurp the function of the constitution-making authority or the legislature.
In the result, counsel for the “plaintiff” having withdrawn the purported action and Statement of Claim, they are accordingly struck out, with costs to the “defendants” assessed and fixed at N300.00 to be paid by the “plaintiff”.
Mr. J.N. Obonna For Appellant
Mr. O.A. Soetan, Solicitor-General of the Federation (with him, Mr. S.S.A. Ojomo, Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Justice) For Respondent