Saturday, November 7, 2009


Before any court of law assumes jurisdiction so as to determine or adjudicate on a cause or matter,the court must be competent.

A court is competent when :

(a) The court is properly constituted as regards members and qualifications of the bench and no member is disqualified for one reason or the another; and

(b) The subject-matter of the case is within the court's jurisdiction and there is no feature in the case which prevents the court from exercising its jurisdiction;and

(c) The case comes before the court intiated by due process of law and upon fulfilment of a condition precedent to exercise of jurisdiction. And any defect in competence is fatal because the proceedings of the court are a nullity however well conducted See: Madukolu v. Nkemdilim (1962)2 SCNLR 341

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