AN APPRAISAL OF THE JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

Generally, jurisdiction is a term of comprehensive import embracing every kind of judicial action. The fundamental nature of jurisdiction of any court is crucial to any adjudicatory process without which anything done will amount to an exercise in futility. It is so important that it can even be raised for the first time before the Supreme Court of Nigeria as a final court of the land. Thus, there is the need for prospective litigants to know the appropriate court to approach in order to seek redress in a competent court concerning labour and employment related matters.

The main objective of the thesis is to appraise the jurisdiction and powers of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria under the Trade Dispute Act, National Industrial Court Act and specifically under the Third Alteration Act which amended the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. To this end, the study also examined the legal status of part heard causes and matters pending at the various High Courts, after the passage of the Third Alteration Act which came into force on the 4th of March 2011, and the applicable law to such causes and matters and appraise its impact on the settlement of labour disputes.

The doctrinal method of research was used to appraise the jurisdiction and powers of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. Some of the challenges and problems facing the court are man power, infrastructure, inadequate funding and the centralization of the assignment of cases by the President of the court. There is a need to have a National Industrial Court in all the states of the federation with judges empowered and trained in labour law with a view to bringing justice nearer to the people etc. On the whole, the coming into force of the Third Alteration Act 2010 finally settled the controversial jurisdictional problems that have bedeviled the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for a pretty long time. The exclusivity of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria over labour and or employment related matters is so fundamental to prevent what is often referred to as “forum shopping”.

And in view of the enlarged jurisdiction of the court, there is a need for ore funding, provision of infrastructural base throughout the federation, appointment of more judges experienced in the field of labour law, provide sensitization programmes throughout the federation to create awareness to the general populace of the powers and jurisdictions of the repositioned National Industrial Court of Nigerian. Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism should be adopted as a means of settling labour disputes. All these and more can enhance industrial harmony, peace, productivity towards the settlement of labour disputes in Nigeria

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cover page
Title Page
Declaration
Certification
Dedication
Acknowledgment
Abstract
Table of Contents –
Table Cases
Table of Statutes –

List of Abbreviations – – – – – – – – – xiii


CHAPTER ONE – GENERAL INTRODUCTION – – – – 1


1. Background of the Study – – – – – – – 1
1.1 Statement of the Problem – – – – – – – 4
1.2 Aim and Objectives of the Research– – – – – – 6
1.3 Justification of the Research– – – – – – – 6
1.4 Scope of the Research – – – – – – – 6
1.5 Research Methodology – – – – – – – 7
1.6 Literature Review – – – – – – – – 7
1.7 Organizational Layout – – – – – – – 9

CHAPTER TWO – CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATIONS- – – – 11


2.1 Definition of Terms – – – – – – – – 11
2.2 A summary of Hierarchical Diagram of the Nigerian Courts – – 14


CHAPTER THREE -HISTORY AND ROLE OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT – – – – – 15


3.1 Importance of Industrial Court – – – – – – 15
3.2 History of the National Industrial Court in Nigeria– – – – 16
3.3 Establishment and Composition of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria– 24
3.4 The Role of the National Industrial Court – – – – – 26
3.5 The Nature of Involvement of Government in Labour Disputes in Nigeria– 30
3.6 Trade Dispute Resolution Mechanisms under the Trade Disputes Act
2004 and the National Industrial Court Act, 2006
– – – – 33


CHAPTER FOUR – JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA – – – 38
4.1 Jurisdiction under the National Industrial Court Act, 2006 – – 38
4.2 Jurisdiction under the Third Alteration Act, 2010 – – – 45
4.3 Status of part heard Causes and Matters pending in the High Courts
after the Passage of the Third Alteration Act 2010- – – –
50
4.4 Rules and Procedure of the National Industrial Court – – – 57
4.4.1 Institution and trial of suits – – – – – – – 58
4.4.2 Mode of commencement of action – – – – – – 58
4.4.3 Endorsement of claim and filing of Originating Process- – – – 60
4.4.4 Mode of Entry of Appearance and Defence- – – – – – 61
4.4.5 Summary Judgment Procedure – – – – – – 62
4.4.6 Motions and other Interlocutory Applications- – – – – 63
4.4.7 Proceedings at trial – – – – – – – – 64

4.4.8 Effect of Non-Compliance with the Rules of Court – – – – 65
4.4.9 Judgment and Orders – – – – – – – – 66
4.5 Operations of the National Industrial Court and its impact on
the National Economy
– – – – – – – 67


4.6 Enforcement of the Decisions of the National Industrial Court- – — 70


4.7 Limitations and Challenges of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria
– 84


CHAPTER FIVE – SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION – – – – 89


5.0. Introduction – – – – – – – – – 89
5.1 Summary
– – – – – – – – – 90
5.2 Findings – – – – – – – – – 91
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – – 92
Bibliography – – – – – – – – – – 95

 

 

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