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Onyiriuka V. A.g. Enugu State: Quo Vadis The Exclusiveness Of The Original Civil Jurisdiction Of The National Industrial Court Of Nigeria?

Article by David Andrew Agbu


This paper interrogates the exclusiveness of the original civil jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) over labour-associated fundamental human rights disputes vis-à-vis the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court (FHC) and State High Courts (SHCs) pursuant to sections 46(1), 251 and 272 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 CFRN). It examines the effect of the Court of Appeal decision in Mrs. Gloria Lewechi Onyiriuka on the development of Nigeria’s labour jurisprudence and the mandate of the NICN. The paper argues that the decision is diametrically opposed to the section 254C(1)(d) of the I999 Constitution (Third Alteration) Act, 2010 which made the jurisdiction of the NICN over all and sundry labour and employment disputes exclusive. It is contended that the decision was reached per incuriam hence, should be distinguished by the NICN and not follow it sheepishly. The Court of Appeal is also urged to overrule itself where the opportunity presents itself.

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