An Evaluation of the Enforcement of Fundamental Rights and the Controversy of Jurisdiction of the Federal and State High Courts in Nigeria

Author: Bo Alloh

ISSN: 2521-5434
Affiliations: LLB, LLM, BL, PhD, Lecturer, Acting Head, Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Faculty of Law, Delta State University, Oleh Campus, Delta State, Nigeria.
Source: Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, 2020, p. 59 – 78


This article examines the issue of jurisdiction between various high courts on the enforcement of fundamental rights in Nigeria. Fundamental rights are derived from the constitution and are expressly entrenched in the constitution of a country. They vary from one country to another and are specifically enacted in a country’s constitution in line with the history and culture of the country. In Nigeria, jurisdiction is vested in both State and Federal High Courts with respect to the enforcement of fundamental rights. However, the jurisdiction of the State High Courts is ousted and donated to the Federal High Courts, once a case on fundamental rights falls under section 251 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The researcher adopted the doctrinal method of research. The objective of this article is to reveal that the concurrent jurisdiction of both the Federal and State High Courts to hear and determine applications to secure the enforcement of fundamental rights has led to years of seemingly unsettled controversies, academically and procedurally. However, this controversy has been settled in the case of FUT Minna v Olutayo. This article concludes that the Supreme Court decision in the case of FUT Minna v Olutayo supports the realisation of the enforcement of fundamental rights in Nigeria.