The Complete 2004 Laws of Nigeria

Print This Law

NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Constitution of the National Industrial Court

SECTION

  1. Establishment of the National Industrial Court.
  2. Appointment of the President and Judges of the Court.
  3. Tenure of office of the President and Judges of the Court.
  4. Precedence.
  5. Salaries and allowances of the President and Judges of the Court.
  6. Seal of the Court.

PART II

Jurisdiction and Law

  1. Jurisdiction, etc.
     
  2. Power of the Court in civil appeals.
     
  3. Appeals to the Court of Appeal.
     
  4. Enforcement of judgment.
     
  5.  Cessation of jurisdiction, etc.

    12.   Practice and procedure.

    13.   Administration of law and equity.

    14.   Determination of matter completely and finally.

    15.   Rules of equity to prevail.

    16.   Injunctions.

    17.   Orders of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari.

    18.   Injunction of in lieu of quo warranto.

    19.   Power of Court to make certain orders.

    20.   Reconciliation in civil cases.

PART III

Sitting and Distribution of Business

  1. Divisions of Court.
  2. Sittings.
  3. Lack of quorum.
  4. Power of transfer.
  5. Proceedings to be disposed of by a panel of Judges.
  6. Powers of a panel of Judges in Court and in chambers.
  7. Discharge of orders made in chambers.

PART IV                   

General Provisions as to Trial and Procedure

  1. Decision of the Court.
  2. Use of assessors.
  3. Reference for report.
  4. Reference for trial.
  5. Powers and remuneration of referees and arbitrators.
  6. Statement of case pending arbitration.
  7. Power of the Court to impose terms as to costs.
  8. Meaning of "reference".

PART V

Rules of Court

36. Power to make Rules of Court.

PART VI

Miscellaneous

  1. Chief Registrar and other officers of the Court.
  2. Negligence or misconduct of officers.
  3. Restriction on officers of the Court buying property sold at execution.
  4. Costs.
  5. Allowances to witness.
  6. How allowances are to be defrayed.
  7. Person in Court may be required to give evidence though not summoned.
  8. Witness summons in civil causes and matters.
  9. Representation of Government.
  10. Right to practice.
  11. Appeal not to operate as a stay of execution.
  12. Notes of evidence and minutes of proceedings to be kept by presiding Judge.
  13. Inspection.
  14. President of the Court may appoint commissioners for affidavits or for taking evidence.
  15. Protection of commissioners from action.
  16. Judicial officers not liable to be sued if they acted in good faith.
  17. Repeal of Part II of Cap. 432 L.F.N. 1990, etc.
  18. Interpretation.
  19. Short title.                                                                     

NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT ACT

An Act to provide for the establishment of the National Industrial Court as a superior court of record; and for related matters.

[2006 No. 37.]

[14th June, 2006]

[Commencement.]

ENACTED by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

PART I

The Constitution of the National Industrial Court

1. Establishment of the National Industrial Court

(1) There is established a court to be known as the National Industrial Court (in this
Act referred to as "the Court").

(2) The Court shall consist of-

 (a)      the President of the Court who shall have overall control and supervision of the
administration of the Court; and

                (b)       not less than twelve Judges:

Provided that in appointing Judges for the Court, one-third of the Judges so ap-
pointed shall satisfy the requirements of the provisions of subsection (4) (b) of section 2
of this Act.

(3) The Court shall-

               (a)       be a superior court of record; and

(b)      except as may be otherwise provided by any enactment or law, have all the
powers of a High Court.

  1. Appointment of the President and Judges of the Court

(1) The President of the Court shall be appointed by the President, on the recommen-
dation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

(2) The appointment of a person to the Office of a Judge of the Court shall be made
by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be eligible to hold Office of the President of the Court unless the
person is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for
a period of not less than ten years and has considerable knowledge and experience in the
law and practice of industrial relations and employment conditions in Nigeria.


(4) A person shall not be eligible to hold the Office of a Judge of the Court unless-

              (a)       the person is a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period
of not less than ten years and has considerable knowledge and experience in the
law and practice of industrial relations and employment conditions in Nigeria; or

              (b)       the person is a graduate of a recognised university of not less than ten years'
standing and has considerable knowledge and experience in the law and practice of industrial
relations and employment conditions in Nigeria.

(5) If the Office of the President of the Court is vacant, or if the person holding the
Office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the Office, then until a person
has been appointed to and assumed the functions of that Office or until the person holding
the Office has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most senior
Judge of the Court having the qualification to be appointed as President of the Court as
provided under subsection (3) of this section to perform those functions.

(6) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment
pursuant to the provisions of subsection (5) of this section shall cease to have effect after
the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the President shall
not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4) of this section,
any person holding the Office of the President or ordinary member of the Court immedi-
ately before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been appointed under
this Act.

  1. Tenure of Office of the President and Judges of the Court

The provisions in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 relating to
the tenure, removal, gratuity and pension of any person holding or appointed to act in the
Office of the Chief Judge or Judge of the Federal High Court, shall respectively apply to
any person holding or appointed to act in the Office of the President of the Court or as a
Judge of the Court.

4. Precedence

(1) The President of the Court shall take precedence over the other Judges of the
Court, and the other Judges shall take precedence after the President of the Court in order
of seniority.

(2) The President of the Court shall rank equal with the Chief Judge of the Federal
High Court or the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
in precedence and the Judges of the Court shall, in like manner, rank with the Judges of
the Federal High Court or High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

  1. Salaries and allowances of the President and the Judge of the Court
    (1) There shall be paid to-

      (a)       the President of the Court, such salaries, emoluments and allowances as are
payable to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court or of the High Court of
the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; and

      (b)        a Judge of the Court, such salaries, emoluments and allowances as are payable
to a Judge of the Federal High Court or of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

(2) Any amounts payable under this section shall be charged and paid out of the
Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation in accordance with section 81 (3) of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

  1. Seal ofthe Court

(1) The Court shall have and may use a seal bearing a device or impression approved
by the President of the Court with the inscription, "The National Industrial Court".

(2) The seal of the Court shall be kept by the President of the Court and a duplicate
thereof shall be kept by each of the other Judges and the President of the Court and other
Judges may entrust the seal or the duplicate to such officers of the Court as they may
think fit.

(3) The seal shall be a seal of the Court for all purposes for which it may be required
under the provisions of any enactment or Rules of Court.

PART II

Jurisdiction and Law

  1. Jurisdiction, etc.

(1) The Court shall have and exercise exclusive jurisdiction In civil causes and
matters-

                    (a)       relating to-

        (i)    labour, including trade unions and industrial relations; and

(ii)     environment and conditions of work, health, safety and welfare of labour,
and matters incidental thereto; and

      (b)       relating to the grant of any order to restrain any person or body from taking
part in any strike, lock-out or any industrial action, or any conduct in contem-
plation or in furtherance of a strike, lock-out or any industrial action;

                     (c)        relating to the determination of any question as to the interpretation of-

(i)    any collective agreement;

(ii)     any award made by an arbitral tribunal in respect of a labour dispute or
an organisational dispute;

(iii)     the terms of settlement of any labour dispute or organisational dispute
as may be recorded in any memorandum of settlement;

         (iv)    any trade union constitution; and

                            (v)    any award or judgment of the Court.

(2) The National Assembly may by an Act confer such additional jurisdiction on the
Court in respect of such other causes or matters incidental, supplementary or related to
those set out in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act or any other enactment or
law, the National Assembly may by an Act prescribe that any matter under 
subsection 
(1) (a) of this section may go through the process of conciliation or arbitration before
such matter is heard by the Court.

(4) An appeal shall lie from the decisions of an arbitral tribunal to the Court as of
right in matters of disputes specified in subsection (1) (a) of this section.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4) of this section, a party to an arbitral award
shall be entitled to obtain a copy of the records of the arbitral proceedings and the award
from the arbitral tribunal.

(6) The Court shall, in exercising its jurisdiction or any of the powers conferred upon
it by this Act or any other enactment or law, have due regard to good or international best
practice in labour or industrial relations and what amounts to good or international best
practice in labour or industrial relations shall be a question of fact.

  1. Power of the Court in civil appeals

The Court may, upon hearing an appeal under subsection (4) of section 7 of this Act,
draw any inference of fact and-

       (a)       confirm, vary or set aside the judgment, award or order of the Court, tribunal
or body mentioned therein; or

       (b)       order a rehearing and determination on such terms as the Court may think just;
or

       (c)        order judgment to be entered for any party; or

       (d)        make a final or other order on such terms as the Court may think fit to ensure
the determination on the merits of the matter in dispute between the parties.

  1. Appeals to the Court of Appeal

(1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
1999 and subsection (2) of this section, no appeal shall lie from the decisions of the Court
to the Court of Appeal or any other court except as may be prescribed by this Act or any
other Act of the National Assembly.

(2) An appeal from the decision of the Court shall lie only as of right to the Court of
Appeal only on questions of fundamental rights as contained in Chapter IV of the Consti-
tution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

10. Enforcement of judgment

The Court shall have the power to enforce its judgment and accordingly, may commit
for contempt any person or a representative of a trade union or employers' organisation
who commits any act or an omission which in the opinion of the Court constitutes a 
contempt of the Court.

11. Cessation of jurisdiction, etc.

(1) In so far as jurisdiction is conferred upon the Court in respect of the causes or
matters mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act, the Federal High
Court, the High Court of a State, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
or any other court shall, to the extent that exclusive jurisdiction is so conferred upon the
Court, cease to have jurisdiction in relation to such causes and matters.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall affect the jurisdiction and powers of
the Federal High Court, the High Court of a State or of the Federal Capital Territory, 
Abuja to continue to hear and determine causes and matters which are part-heard before
the commencement of this Act and any proceedings in any such causes or matters, not
determined or concluded at the expiration of one year after the commencement of this
Act, shall abate.

12. Practice and procedure

(1) The jurisdiction vested in the Court shall, so far as practice and procedure are
concerned, be exercised in the manner provided by this Act or any other enactment or by
such rules and orders of court as may be made pursuant to this Act or, in the absence of
any such provisions, in substantial conformity with the practice and procedure of the
Court existing immediately before the commencement of this Act.

(2) Subject to this Act and any rules made thereunder, the Court-

                             (a)       may regulate its procedure and proceedings as it thinks fit; and

              (b)      shall be bound by the Evidence Act but may depart from it in the interest of
                        justice.

13. Administration of law and equity

Subject to this Act, in every civil cause or matter commenced in the Court, law and
equity shall be administered by the Court concurrently.

14. Determination of matter completely and finally

The Court shall, in the exercise of the jurisdiction vested in it by or under this Act in
every cause or matter, have power to grant, either absolutely or on such terms and conditions
as the Court thinks just, all such remedies whatsoever as any of the parties thereto
may appear to be entitled to in respect of any legal or equitable claim properly brought
forward by the Court so that, as far as possible, all matters in dispute between the parties
may be completely and finally determined and all multiplicity of legal proceedings concerning
any of those matters avoided.

15. Rules of equity to prevail

Subject to the express provisions of any other enactment, and in all matters not particularly
mentioned in this Act in which there was formerly or there is any conflict or
variance between the rules of equity and the rules of common law with reference to the
same matter, the rules of equity shall prevail in the Court so far as the matters to which
those rules relate are cognisable by the Court.

16. Injunctions 

(1) The Court may grant an injunction in all cases in which it appears to the Court to
be just or convenient so to do.

(2) Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms and condi-
tions as the Court thinks just.

17. Orders of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari

(1) The Court shall have the power to make an order of mandamus requiring any
act to be done or an order of prohibition prohibiting any proceedings, cause or matter, or
an order of certiorari removing any proceedings, cause or matter into the Court for any
purpose.

(2) The power conferred on the Court by this section to make an order of mandamus, 
prohibition or certiorari may be exercised notwithstanding that the order is made against
an officer or authority of the Federal, State or Local Government as such.

18. Injunction in lieu of quo warranto

In any case where any person acts in an Office in which he is not entitled to act, the
Court may grant an injunction restraining him from so acting and may (if the case so re-
quires) declare the Office to be vacant.

19. Power of Court to make certain orders

The Court may in all other cases and where necessary make any appropriate order, including-

       (a)       the grant of urgent interim reliefs;

       (b)       a declaratory order;

       (c)       the appointment of a public trustee for the management of the affairs and
                 finances of a trade union or employers' organisation involved in any organisational dispute;

       (d)       an award of compensation or damages in any circumstance contemplated by
                  this Act or any Act of the National Assembly dealing with any matter that the
                  Court has jurisdiction to hear; and

       (e)       an order of compliance with any provision of any Act of the National Assembly dealing
                  with any matter that the Court has jurisdiction to hear.

20. Reconciliation in civil cases

In any proceedings in the Court, the Court may promote reconciliation among the parties thereto and
encourage and facilitate the amicable settlement thereof.

PART III

Sitting and Distribution of Business

21. Division of Court

(1) The Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction throughout the Federation, and for
that purpose the whole area of the Federation shall be divided by the President of the
Court into such number of Judicial Divisions, as the President may,from time to time, by
instrument published in the Federal Gazette decide and may, designate any such judicial
Division or part thereof by such name as he thinks fit.

(2) The Court may sit in any Judicial Division as the President of the Court may di-
rect, and he may also direct a number of Judges to sit in any Judicial Division.

(3) The President of the Court shall determine the distribution of the business before
the Court amongst the Judges thereof and may assign any judicial function to any Judge
or Judges or in respect of a particular cause or matter in a Judicial Division.

(4) Subject to this Act, the Rules of Court made pursuant to section 36 of this Act and
the directions of the President of the Court, the Court shall be constituted of not less than
three Judges:

Provided that the presiding Judge shall be a Judge appointed under subsection (3)
or (4) (a) of section 2 of this Act.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4) of this section, the President of the Court may assign
a single Judge of the Court to sit and hear interlocutory applications or a preliminary
matter in any proceedings brought before or pending in the Court:

Provided that such Judge shall be a Judge appointed under subsection (3) or (4) (a) 
of section 2 of this Act.

22. Sittings

(1) Subject to the Rules of Court and to any provisions pertaining to vacations as may
be prescribed by the President of the Court, the Court shall open throughout the year for
the transaction of any pending general legal business.

(2) Provisions shall be made in the Rules of Court for the hearing of all such applications
as may be required to be expeditiously or urgently heard.

23. Lack of quorum

Where the Court is unable to form a quorum and no arrangement can be made to
ensure that a quorum is formed, the Court shall stand adjourned from day to day until a
quorum is formed for the purpose of hearing the case, or until the Court shall be adjourned
or closed by order under the hand of the presiding Judge.

24. Power of transfer

(1) A panel of Judges constituted to hear a case may, at any time or at any stage of
the proceedings in any cause or matter before final judgment, either with or without application
from any of the parties thereto, transfer such cause or matter before the Court to
any other panel of Judges.

(2) No cause or matter shall be struck out by the Court merely on the ground that
such cause or matter was taken in the Court instead of the Federal High Court or the High
Court of a State or of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in which it ought to have been
brought, and the Court before whom such cause or matter is brought may cause such
cause or matter to be transferred to the appropriate Federal High Court or the High Court
of a State or of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in accordance with Rules of Court to
be made under section 36 of this Act.

(3) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any enactment or law, no cause or
matter shall be struck out by the Federal High Court or the High Court of a State or of the
Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on the ground that such cause or matter was not brought
in the appropriate Court in which it ought to have been brought, and the Court before
whom such cause or matter is brought may cause such cause or matter to be transferred to
the appropriate Judicial Division of the Court in accordance with such Rules of Court as
may be in force in that High Court or made under any enactment or law empowering the
making of Rules of Court generally which enactment or law shall by virtue of this subsection
be deemed also to include the power to make Rules of Court for the purposes of
this subsection.

(4) Every order of transfer made pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) of this section
shall operate as a stay of proceedings before the Court before which such proceedings are
brought or instituted and shall not be subject to appeal.

(5) Where the Court to which any cause or matter has been transferred, pursuant to
subsection (2) or (3) of this section, is of the opinion that the cause or matter ought in law
to be dealt with by the Court which transferred the cause or matter, the first mentioned
Court shall, after hearing counsel on behalf of the parties, state a case on a point of law
for the opinion of the Court of Appeal.

(6) Where any case on a point of law is stated for the opinion of the Court of Appeal,
the Court of Appeal shall in accordance with rules applicable in that Court, give its decision 
upon the case and the Court which stated the case shall dispose of the cause or matter accordingly.

25. Proceedings to be disposed of by a panel of Judges

Every proceeding in the Court and all business arising therefrom shall, so far as prac-
ticable and convenient and subject to the provisions of any enactment or law and the
Rules of Court made pursuant to section 36 of this Act, be heard and disposed of by a
panel consisting of not less than three Judges as the President of the Court may direct, all
proceedings in an action subsequent to the hearing or trial, down to and including the
final judgment or order, shall, so far as is practicable and convenient, be taken before the
panel of Judges before whom the trial or hearing took place.

26. Power of a panel of Judges in Court and in chambers

A panel of Judges to whom a case is assigned may, subject to Rules of Court, exercise
in Court or in chambers all or any part of the jurisdiction vested in the Court in all such
causes and matters and in all such proceedings in any cause or matter as may be heard
conveniently in Court or in chambers respectively.

27. Discharge of orders made in chambers

Subject to the provisions of the Act and the Rules of Court made pursuant thereto,
every order made by a panel of Judges in chambers, except orders as to costs only, may
upon notice be set aside or discharged by the panel of Judges sitting in Court.

PART IV

General Provisions as to Trial and Procedure

28. Decision of the Court

(1) Every decision of the Court shall be in writing.

(2) Every decision of the Court shall be taken, in the event of a difference between
the Judges dealing with the case by the votes of a majority of the Judges.

(3) For the purpose of delivering its decision, judgment or ruling, the Court shall
be deemed to have been duly constituted if at least one Judge of the panel sits for that
purpose.

29. Use of assessors

(1) In any civil cause or matter, the Court may, if it thinks it expedient so to do or in a
manner prescribed under any enactment, law, or Rules of Court, call in the aid of one or
more assessors specially qualified and try and hear the cause or matter wholly or partially
with the assistance of such assessors.

(2) The remuneration, if any, to be paid to an assessor shall be determined by the
Court on the direction of the President of the Court or as may be otherwise prescribed
pursuant to this Act or any other enactment or law or any Regulations made pursuant
thereto.

30. Reference for report

(1) Subject to the Rules of Court, the Court may refer to an official or special referee
for inquiry or report any question arising in any cause or matter.

(2) The report of an official or special referee may be adopted wholly or partially by
the Court and if so adopted, may be endorsed as a judgment or order to the same effect.

31. Reference for trial

In any cause or matter-
(a)       if all the parties interested, who are not under disability, consent; or
(b)      if the cause or matter requires any prolonged examination of documents or any
          scientific or local investigation which cannot, in the opinion of the Court, conveniently
          be conducted by the Court through its ordinary officers; or

       (c)        if the matter in dispute consists wholly or in part of accounts,
the Court may at any time order the whole cause or matter, or any question or issue of
fact arising therein, to be tried before a special referee, an official referee, officer of the
Court or arbitrator respectively agreed on by the parties.

32. Power and remuneration of referees and arbitrators

(1) In all cases of reference to an official or special referee or arbitrator, the official
or special referee or arbitrator shall be deemed to be an officer of the Court and, subject
to Rules of Court, shall have such authority, and conduct the reference in such manner, as
the Court may direct.

(2) The report of an official or special referee on any reference shall, if adopted and
not set aside by the Court, be equivalent to a finding of the Court.

(3) An award of an arbitrator or any reference, shall unless set aside, be binding on
the Court and equivalent to its finding.

(4) The remuneration to be paid to a special referee or arbitrator to whom any matter
is referred under an order of the Court shall be determined by the Court on the direction
of the President of the Court.

 
33. Statement of case pending arbitration

A referee or arbitrator may at any stage of the proceedings under a reference, and
shall, if so directed by the Court, state in the form of a special case for the opinion of the
Court any question of law arising in the course of the reference.

34. Power of the Court to impose terms as to costs

An order made under the provisions of this Act relating to inquiries and trials by refe-
rees may be made on such terms as to costs or otherwise as the Court thinks fit.

35. Meaning of "reference"

In the provisions of this Act relating to inquiries and trials by referees, unless the con-
text otherwise requires, the expression "reference" relates to a reference under an order
made by the Court under the said provisions.

PART V

Rules of Court

36. Power to make Rules of Court

(1) The President of the Court may make Rules of Court for carrying into effect the
provisions of this Act, and in particular-

       (a)       regulating the practice and procedure of the Court, including all matters connected
with the forms to be used and the fees to be paid;

       (b)       prescribing the practice and procedure upon an appeal or an application to the
Court where provision is made in any enactment or law for such an appeal or
such an application;

       (c)                     regulating the practice and procedure in cases where an order of mandamus, 
prohibition or certiorari is sought or proceedings are taken for an injunction or
declaratory order;

       (d)       regulating, subject to the provisions of this Act, trials by the Court with
assessors;

       (e)        regulating-

                   (i) the fees to be paid; and

                   (ii) the taxation and recovery of fees and disbursements;

       (f)          defining, so far as may be conveniently defined by general rules, the duties of
the several officers of Court;

       (g)           regulating, subject to the provisions of this Act, the sittings of the Court and of
the Judges thereof whether sitting in Court or chambers, the business and hours
of the Court and of the offices connected therewith, and the conduct of the
business of the Court during vacation;

       (h)          prescribing what part of the business which may be transacted and of the jurisdiction
which may be exercised by Judges of the Court in chambers or may be
transacted or exercised by registrars or other officers of the Court;

       (i)        regulating any matters relating to the costs of proceedings in the Court;                                                             

       (j)        regulating the means by which any judgment or decree of any court outside
Nigeria or of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (or the former Federal Supreme
Court), Court of Appeal, High Court or other superior court established or to
be established elsewhere in Nigeria which it is necessary to prove or lawful to
enforce shall be proved or enforced;

       (k)        regulating the procedure for the detention and trial of any person charged for
contempt before the Court;

      (l )        regulating the payment of allowances and travelling expenses of witnesses;

      (m)        imposing penalties on any person who fails to take any action required by a
 Rule of Court or who disobeys any Rule of Court;

       (n)        for requiring and regulating the filing of accounts;

       (0)                    for regulating the procedure in respect of any matter in which the Court has
and may exercise original or appellate jurisdiction under this Act and for fixing
the fees payable or providing that no fees be paid or that certain fees need not be paid;

       (p)       for ascertaining the value of anything that requires to be ascertained;

       (q)      for regulating and prescribing the duties and procedure for assessors, referees
and arbitrators;

       (r)       for regulating the means by which particular facts may be proved, and the
mode in which evidence thereof may be given in any proceedings or on any
application in connection with or at any stage of any proceedings;

       (s)       for providing for the service or execution of any writ, warrant, order or other
process issuing out of the Court, the payment of mileage allowance before or
after service or execution, the conditions precedent before any such process or
process of certain classes will be served or executed and the procedure to be
followed after the service or execution of such process;

      (t)         for providing for the taking of notes whether manually or by electronic device
of evidence and proceedings in the Court and for the payment of fees for the
taking of notes out of public funds, and for fixing the charges for the making
and supply of transcripts of the notes, and for the payment of such charges ei-
ther by the parties to the proceedings or out of public funds;

      (u)        prescribing the procedure for the transfer of proceedings from the Court to the
Federal High Court, the High Court of a State or of the Federal Capital Territory; and

       (v)       for prescribing vacations.

(2) Rules of Court made under this section shall apply to all proceedings by or
against the Government of the Federation or of a State or a Local Government.

PART VI

Miscellaneous 
37. Chief Registrar and other officers of the Court

(1) The Federal Judicial Service Commission may, from time to time, appoint a fit
and proper person to be the Chief Registrar of the Court who shall perform such duties in
execution of the powers and authorities of the Court as may, from time to time, be assigned
to him by Rules of Court and, subject thereto, by any special order of the President
of the Court.

(2) The Federal Judicial Service Commission may, from time to time, appoint registrars,
deputy registrars and such other officers as may be deemed necessary who shall
perform such duties with respect to business before the Court as may be directed by
Rules of Court and any order of the President of the Court.

(3) The Chief Registrar, registrars and deputy registrars shall have power to administer oaths
and perform such other duties with respect to any proceedings in the Court as
may be prescribed by the Rules of Court or by any special order of the President of the
Court.

(4) Any person holding the Office of Chief Registrar, registrar, deputy registrar or
any other Office in the Court immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be
deemed to have been appointed under this Act and shall continue to hold such Office
under such terms and conditions not less favourable than those obtaining immediately
before the commencement of this Act.

38. Negligence or misconduct of officers

If an officer of the Court, employed to execute an order, wilfully or by neglect loses
the opportunity of executing it, then on complaint of the person aggrieved, and proof of
the act alleged, the Court may, if it thinks fit, order the officer to pay the damages sustained
by the person complaining, or part thereof, and the order shall be enforced as an
order directing payment of money.

39. Restriction on officers of the Court buying property sold at execution

No person in permanent employment as an officer of the Court shall or may directly
or indirectly or by the intervention of a trustee or otherwise purchase any property sold at
execution, and in the event of any such person purchasing or being interested in the purchase
of any property at an execution sale, such purchase shall be entirely void:
Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent any such person from purchasing
by leave of the Court at an execution sale any property which it may be necessary for him
to purchase in order to protect the interest of himself, his wife or child.

40. Costs

Subject to the provisions of this Act or any other enactment, Rules of Court or law,
the costs of and incidental to all proceedings in the Court shall be in the discretion of the
Court and the Court shall have full power to determine by whom and to what extent the
costs are to be paid.

41. Allowances to witnesses

(1) The Court may, in any matter, order and allow to all persons required to attend, or
to be examined as witnesses, such sum or sums of money as may be specified by Rules of
Court for defraying the reasonable expenses of such witnesses and for allowing them a
reasonable compensation for their trouble and loss of time.

(2) No person may refuse to attend as a witness, or to give evidence when so required
by process of the Court, on the ground that his expenses have not been first paid or provided for.

42. How allowances are to be defrayed

All sums of money so allowed shall be paid in civil proceedings by the party on
whose behalf the witness is called and shall be recoverable as ordinary costs of suit if the
Court shall so order.

43. Person in Court may be required to give evidence though not summoned

Any person present in Court, whether a party or not in a cause or matter, may be
compelled by the Court to give evidence or produce any document in his possession or in
his power in the same manner and subject to the same rules as if he had been summoned
to attend and give evidence or produce such document and may be punished for any re-
fusal to obey the order of the Court.

44. Witness summons in civil causes and matters

The Court may issue a summons for bringing up any person under civil process to be
examined as a witness in any cause or matter pending or to be inquired into in the Court.

45. Representation of Government

In any civil cause or matter in which the Government of the Federation or any public
officer in his official capacity is a party or in any civil cause or matter affecting the
activities of the Government of the Federation, that Government or that officer may be
represented by a law officer, State Counsel, or any legal practitioner or other person duly
authorised in that behalf by or on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

46. Right to practice

All persons admitted as legal practitioners to practice in Nigeria shall, subject to the
provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and the Legal
Practitioners Act, have the right to practise in the Court:

[Cap. L11.]

Provided that a party to a dispute before the Court may represent himself or herself
or be represented by the organisation to which he or she belongs.

47. Appeal not to operate as a stay of execution

Where permitted by this Act or any other Act of the National Assembly, an appeal to
the Court of Appeal from the decision of the Court shall not operate as a stay of execution
but the Court may order a stay of execution either unconditionally or upon the performance
of such conditions as may be imposed in accordance with Rules of Court.

48. Notes of evidence and minutes of proceedings to be kept by presiding Judge

(1) In every cause or matter the Court shall take down in writing the substance of all
oral evidence given before the Court and minutes of the proceedings, and shall sign the
same at any adjournment of the case and at the conclusion thereof:
Provided that the Court may cause the whole or any part of the proceedings to be recorded
either manually or by electronic devices by an official employed for that purpose
except that the transcript of such recording shall be transcribed and duly authenticated by
the signature of the presiding Judge in a manner prescribed by Rules of Court.

(2) No person shall be entitled, as of right, to the inspection of or to a copy of the records so
kept pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, except as may be imposed by
Rules of Court.

(3) The record so kept pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, or a copy thereof
signed and certified by the registrar as a true copy shall at all times without further proof,
be admitted as evidence of such proceedings and of statements made by the witnesses.

49. Inspection

In any case the Court may on the application of either party, or of its own motion,
make such order for the inspection by the Court, the parties or witnesses of any movable
or immovable property, the inspection of which may be material to the proper determination
of the question in dispute, and give such direction respecting such inspection as to
the Court may seem fit.

50. President of the Court may appoint commissioners for affidavits or for taking
evidence

The President of the Court may appoint under his hand and seal of the Court, from
time to time, such and so many persons as may be requisite to be commissioners for taking
affidavits and declarations and receiving production of documents, or for taking the
examination of witnesses on interrogatories or otherwise which may be necessary to be
taken in respect of any proceedings in the Court, and any order of the Court for the attendance
and examination of witnesses or production of documents before any such commissioner shall
be enforced in the same manner as an order to attend and be examined or
produce documents before the Court.

51. Protection of commissioners from action

No action shall be brought against any commissioner in respect of any act or order
performed or made bona fide by him in the execution, or supposed execution of the powers or
jurisdiction vested in him, but every such act or order if in excess of such powers
and jurisdiction shall be liable to be revised, altered, amended or set aside upon summary
application to the Court.

52. Judicial officers not liable to be sued if they acted in good faith

(1) No Judge or other person acting judicially shall be liable to be sued in any court
for any act done or ordered to be done by him in the discharge of his judicial duty,
whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction.

(2) No officer of the Court or other person bound to execute the lawful orders of any
such Judge or other person acting judicially shall be liable to be sued in any court, for the
execution of any warrant or order which he would be bound to execute.

53. Repeal of Part II of Cap. 432 L.F.N. 1990, etc.

(1) Part II of the Trade Disputes Act is hereby repealed.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the other
provisions of the Trade Disputes Act shall be construed with such modifications as may
be necessary to bring it into conformity with the provisions of this Act.

(3) If any provision of the Trade Disputes Act is inconsistent with the provision of
this Act the provisions of this Act shall prevail.

54. Interpretation

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

"action" means a civil proceeding commenced by writ or in such other manner as
may be prescribed by Rules of Court but does not include a criminal proceeding;

"cause" includes any action, suit or other original proceeding between a claimant and
a defendant and any contempt proceeding;

"claimant" includes every person asking any relief (otherwise than by way of counter-
claim as a defendant) against any other person by any form of proceeding, whether the
proceeding is by action, suit, petition, motion, summons or otherwise;

"collective agreement" means any agreement in writing regarding working condi-
tions and terms of employment concluded between-

       (a)       an organisation of employers or an organisation representing employers (or an
association of such organisations), of the one part; and

       (b)       an organisation of employees or an organisation representing employees (or an
association of such organisations) of the other part;

"Constitution" means the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999;

"Court" means the National Industrial Court and includes the Judges of the National
Industrial Court sitting together or separately;

"Court of Appeal" means the Court of Appeal as established by the Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999;

"employee" means a person employed by another under oral or written contract of
employment whether on a continuous, part-time, temporary or casual basis and includes a
domestic servant who is not a member of the family of the employer;

"employer" means any individual or body corporate or unincorporate who has entered
into a contract of employment to employ any other person as an employee or apprentice;

"enactment" means any Act of the National Assembly (including this Act) or law
having effect with respect to the Federation or applicable or having effect as Federal law;

"inter-union dispute" means dispute between trade unions or employers' associations;

"intra-union dispute" means dispute within a trade union or an employers'
association;

"Judge" except where the reference is to the Judge of the Federal high Court or of a
High Court of a State or the Capital Territory, Abuja, means the President or other Judge
of the National Industrial Court;

"judgment" includes a decision, decree or order of a court of record;

"matter" includes every proceeding in court or order in a cause;

"National Industrial Court" means the National Industrial Court reconstituted under
section 1 of this Act;

"organisation" includes a trade union or an employers' association;

"party" includes every person served with notice of, or attending, any proceeding,
who, although not named on the record of the proceeding, has the like interest in the subject
matter of the proceeding as a person named on the record of the proceedings;

"President" means the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

"President of the Court" means the President of the National Industrial Court ap-
pointed under section 2 of this Act;

"registrar" includes the Chief Registrar and all other registrars of the Court;

"suit" includes action;

"trade dispute" means any dispute between employers and employees, including disputes
between their respective organisations and federations which is connected with-

       (a)       the employment or non-employment of any person;

       (b)       terms of employment and physical conditions of work of any person;

       (c)        the conclusion or variation of a collective agreement; and

       (d)       an alleged dispute.

(2) For enabling full effect to be given to the provisions of this Act-

(a) any reference (whether express or by necessary implication) in any enactment
(other than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999) to "the
Federal High Court", "High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja",
"High Court", "court of law" or a "court of record"-

 (i) in so far as the reference relates to or is connected with the jurisdiction,
powers, practice and procedure of a High Court; and

             (ii) except in so far as it is inconsistent with the provisions of this Act,
            shall include a reference to the Court established by this Act; and

(b)       all references (whether express or by necessary implication) in any enactment
(other than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to the High
Court of a State in so far as the enactment-

(i)   is of general application throughout the Federation; and

(ii)  relates to a matter as respects which jurisdiction is conferred upon the
Court by or under this Act,shall be construed as references to the Court, 
notwithstanding that in an appropriate case, the enactment is, or has become, 
by operation of law, a law of a State.

(3) The powers conferred upon the Attorney-General of the Federation and exercisable by him or
the Attorney-General of a State under the Constitution or any thing made
thereunder shall, to the extent that jurisdiction is conferred upon the Court, the Federal
High Court, or the High Court of a State, or of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by or
pursuant to this Act, be exercisable subject as in this Act otherwise provided, and that
section and any other enactment in law pertaining thereto shall be so construed.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, the following enactments-

       (a)       the Regional Courts (Federal Jurisdiction) Act;

       (b)       section 31 of the Interpretation Act;

[Cap. 123.]

      (c)        Trade Disputes Act; and

[Cap. T8.]

      (d)       such other Federal enactment as the President may by order specify,shall be
construed with such modifications as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with the provisions of this Act.

55. Citation

This Act may be cited as the National Industrial Court Act 2006.

                                      SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

                                    No Subsidiary Legislation