Litigaship Series

Litigaship Series: Notice of Preliminary Objection



One of the various ways by which the jurisdiction of a Court can be contested is through raising a Preliminary Objection. See, Petrojessica Enterprises Ltd v. Leventis Tech. Co. Ltd (1992) 5 NWLR (pt 244) p.675.

It is a Motion by which a defendant challenges the competence of a suit and thus the jurisdiction of the Court.

According to the court, Preliminary Objection has been defined thus:

It is a special procedure whereby the respondent contests the competence of a suit and jurisdiction of court, and if same is upheld, it terminates the life of the suit.

LAWSON v. OKORONKWO (2019) 24 WRN, pg. 115.

A defendant who intends to raise a preliminary objection must do so timeously and shall file a formal Notice of objection as stipulated in the Rules of the Court concerned. The Notice should set the grounds of the objection and same must be filed and served on the other party. See Okafor v. Nwude (1999) 7 SC (pt 1) 106.

In conclusion, the effect of the grant of a preliminary objection is not far to seek as it goes to the issue of jurisdiction. Once it is upheld, it has the effect of terminating the life of the suit by it being struck out.

Keep following ●Litigaship Tower on our website at: for more series and commentaries.

Toheeb Adeagbo
Editor, Litigaship Tower

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