HIERARCHY OF COURT IN NIGERIA


1. SUPREME COURT
2. COURT OF APPEAL
3. FEDERAL HIGH COURT
4. FEDERAL HIGH COURT FCT
5. STATE HIGH COURT
6. SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL FCT
7. SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL OF A STATE
8. CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL FCT
9. CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL OF STATE
10. MAGISTRATE COURT
11. AREA COURT

THE SUPREME COURT
Normally, the Supreme Court bench constitutes the chief justice and not more than 21 justices. The court is properly constituted during hearing when five justices are seated on the bench. However when the court is exercising its appellate jurisdiction pursuant to section 233(2) paragraphs B or c of the 1999 Constitution, the court is properly constituted with seven justices at the bench. The same applies when it exercises its original jurisdiction under section 232 of the constitution. The Supreme Court bench sits directly opposite the bar with counsel for the prosecution or the plaintiff as the case may be, seated to the right hand side of the bar; whereas counsel for the defence sits to the left hand side of the bar. When the Supreme Court exercises its appellate jurisdiction, the court dispenses with the witness box, while the dock, when it involves a criminal appeal, is to the left hand side of the Justices. However, there may be a need for a witness box when the court exercises its original jurisdiction. The court clerk and the registrar sit in the front of the Justices.

COURT OF APPEAL
This court has a president who is the head of the court of appeal the court is duly constituted when at least three justices of that court are seated on the bench for proceedings. The same obtain in an appeal from a Sharia Court of Appeal or a Customary Court of appeal. See section 247 of the constitution. Again, when the court of appeal exercises its appellate criminal jurisdiction, it dispenses with the witness box while the dock is to the left hand side of the Justices. The court clerk and the registrar sit in the front of the Justices. The appellant’s counsel sits to the right hand side of the judge while the respondent’s counsel sits to the left hand side of the judge.

FEDERAL HIGH COURT
The court is duly constituted with at least one Judges of the court at the bench during proceedings. The witness box is to the right hand side of the judge while the dock is to the left hand side of the Judge. The clerk and the registrar are usually seated in front of the Judge. The prosecution or plaintiff counsel sits to the right hand side of the judge while the defence sits to the left hand side of the judge.

HIGH COURT OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA.
The court is duly constituted with at least one judge of the court seated for hearing. The witness box is to the right hand side of the judge while the dock is to the left hand side of the judge. The clerk and the registrar are usually seated in front of the judge. The prosecution or plaintiff counsel sit to the right hand side of the judge while the defence sits to the left hand side of the judge.

SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL OF THE FCT, ABUJA.
This court is duly constituted with at least 3 khadis of that court present and seated at the bench for trial.

CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL OF THE FCT, ABUJA
The court is duly constituted with at least 3 judges of the court seated for hearing.

CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL OF A STATE.
This court is duly constituted with at least 3 judges of that court.

CORONER’S COURT
This court is presided by the coroner during a  coroner’s inquest.
COURT MARSHALL
A court marshal has 2 categories of constitution:
1.   General court marshal: this category of court marshal is properly constituted with a president and less than 4 other officers, a waiting member, a liaison officer and judge advocate
Special court marshal: this category of court marshal is properly constituted with a president and not less than two other members, a waiting member, a liaison officer and a judge 


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