History of the Supreme Court of Nigeria

The coinage Supreme Court was first used in 1863 by the colonial administration through the enactment of the Supreme Court Ordinance No. II which established it as a colony with civil and criminal jurisdiction.

In 1963, following the proclamation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the constitution which came into operation on October 1, 1963, Section III of this constitution gave legal instrument that gave birth to Supreme Court following the abolition of section 120 which abrogated the appellate jurisdiction of the judicial committee of the Privy Council which was Nigeria’s apex Court.

This Act also gave it the status of the highest Court in the judicial hierarchy while the Independence Constitution of 1960 vested in it the jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court.

The 1979 Constitution in its Section 210 (1) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution clearly gave it the name Supreme Court of Nigeria. The Court operates as the apex Court on matters involving both Federal and State Laws.

The Supreme Court is composed of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and not more than twenty others appointed by the President after being recommended by the National Judicial Council subject to the Senate’s confirmation. They are required to retire after a mandatory service age of 70.

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