A Review of the Jurisdiction of the High Courts and National Industrial Court to Hear and Determine Labour Disputes Litigation in Nigeria
Authors Andrew Ejovwo Abuza
Affiliations: Lecturer in Law, Delta State University, Abraka (OLEH Campus), Delta State of Nigeria
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 3 Issue 2, p. 131 – 174
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration) Act 2010 was enacted to further amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. It vests in the National Industrial Court exclusive original jurisdiction over all labour and employment-related matters. After the coming into force of the Act on 4 March 2011, labour dispute litigation has continued in some High Courts. Worse still, some labour disputants still approach the High Courts for the hearing and determination of their labour disputes. This is attributable to the fact that the Act is silent on the fate of part-heard labour disputes in the regular courts and the fact that many Nigerians are unaware of the import and purport of the constitutional amendments introduced by the Act. This article reviews the jurisdiction of the various High Courts and the National Industrial Court to hear and determine labour dispute litigation in Nigeria. The writer suggests, among other things, that the government should organise public lectures and other public enlightenment programmes to sensitise judges of the High Courts, legal practitioners, trade unionists, employers, workers and other Nigerians on the import and purport of the constitutional amendments introduced by the Act.