LEGAL SENSE (Hint 35)
by ANSLAM C. AGIM, ESQ
“The Admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal High Court cannot be invoked over damage and loss which occurred after discharge of shipped goods and delivery to the Consignee”.
The Admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal High Court cannot be invoked over damage or loss of goods which occurred after the goods carried have been discharged into the harbour or delivered to the point of the destination of the cargo. See, the Court of Appeal decision in ENL C. Ltd v. D.B. (Nig.) Ltd (2016) All FWLR (Pt. 817), page 769 at 795, para. E.
The fact that the goods had a voyage on board a ship does not ipso facto give rise to jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in admiralty to hear suit for damages or loss of the goods.
Though, the bill of lading, the contract of carriage in respect of any carriage of goods and other relevant facts ought to be considered in determining whether a claim falls within the purview of admiralty jurisdiction, popularly called, Maritime jurisdiction.
Section 251(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); Section 19 of Admiralty Jurisdiction Act, 1991 and Section 7(1)(d) of the Federal High Court Act, vested exclusive jurisdiction over admiralty matters/claims on the Federal High Court.
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