Madukolu V. Nkemdilim (1962) LPELR-24023(SC) 9-10, F-D, where Bairamian, JSC held as follows: “Put briefly, a Court is competent when –
1) It is properly constituted as regards numbers and qualifications of the members of the bench, and no member is disqualified for one reason or another; and
2) The subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction, and there is no feature in the case which prevents the Court from exercising its jurisdiction; and
3) The case comes before the Court initiated by due process of law, upon fulfillment of any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction.
Any defect in competence is fatal, for the proceedings are a nullity however well conducted and decided; the defect is extrinsic to the adjudication.”
The competence of a person to file an action relates to jurisdiction and it can be raised in this Court. The respondents cannot shut out the appellants from raising the issue merely because “the issue was very well expressed by the learned trial Judge in his judgment.” That law is strange to me, if it is law at all.
— Niki Tobi, JSC. Mozie & Ors. v. Mbamalu & Ors. (2006) – S.C.345/2001