Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Nigeria is the highest court of appeal in the land[1]. Hence, decisions made by this court are final in Nigeria. There is no further court of appeal.

As a consequence of this, it has specific jurisdiction and duties imposed on it by the constitution.

It’s jurisdiction, pursuant to the provisions of S.232 (1), extends exclusively to:

  • All matters of dispute between the Federation and the state.
  • Matter of dispute between individual states.

Also, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in matters which have been conferred on it by an act of the National Assembly[2].

Furthermore, the Supreme Court also has the right to hear appeals from the court of appeal as provided for in S.233 (1) CFRN 1999.

Appointment and Qualification for Justices of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, by virtue of being the highest court in the land, is headed by the Chief Justice of the Federation. He is supported by other justices. There are a number of requirements that have to be met before a person can either be a justice of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of the Federation.

For a person to be appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court, such person has to be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. This appointed is finally subject to confirmation by the senate[3].

It should also be noted that before a person can be qualified to be a  justice of the Supreme Court such person must have been qualified to practice as a legal practitioner for a period of not less than 15 years.

For a person to be the Chief Justice of Nigeria such person would be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. This is then also subject to confirmation of such person by the Senate[4].


[1] S.235 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 (as amended)

[2] S.232 (2) (CFRN) (as amended)

[3] S. 231(2) CFRN 1999 (as amended)

[4] S.231(1) CFRN 1999 (as amended)


  1. This is great and it really helped, but what are the functions of the supreme court as a whole and also there is a complsory retirement age of 70yrs for all supreme Court Justices.

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