Supreme Court has held that aggrieved persons can appeal the decision of the National Industrial Court.
Four members of a five-man panel at the court gave the decision following an appeal filed by Skye Bank Nigeria Plc. against a respondent, Anaemem Iwu.
Before the decision on, only judgements emanating from fundamental right appeals, could go to a higher court.
The applicants had asked the Supreme Court to determine whether there were exceptions to the powers of the appeal court to entertain decisions of the lower court.
In a unanimous ruling by four members of the bench, the court ruled that the appeal court had power to entertain matters from the National Industrial court, regardless of whether they were fundamental rights suits or not.
In the ruling read by Justice Centus Nweze, the four members of the bench said the law allows the appeal court to entertain matters emanating from trial courts, including the National Industrial Court [NIC].
The lower court, that is, the Court of Appeal, has the jurisdiction, to the exclusion of any other court in Nigeria, to hear and determine all appeals arising from the decisions of the trial court,” Mr. Nweze.
No constitutional provision expressly divested the said Court of Appeal of its appellate jurisdiction over all decisions on civil matters emanating from the trial court.
And, as a corollary, the jurisdiction of the court to hear and determine all civil appeal on decisions of the National Industrial Court is not limited to only fundamental human rights.
These shall be the opinions of this court and shall be transmitted to the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal for its guidance in determining the appeal before it
However, a member of the panel, Justice Kumai Akaahs, expressed a dissenting opinion —saying he believed the appeal court was only empowered to entertain such matters as fundamental rights suits and criminal cases from the NIC.