Ouster Clauses and Inalienable Principles: A Juxtaposition of Legal Doctrines by  Oluwole Kolawole, Esq.

Ouster Clauses and Inalienable Principles: A Juxtaposition of Legal Doctrines by Oluwole Kolawole, Esq.

Introduction
A Clause in it suggestive meaning connotes an instrument which bars the doing of certain
action(s) save in requirement a condition precedent has been fulfilled. An Ouster Clause
precludes stricto sensu an organ of government from exercising power over a subject matter
save certain conditions have been met.1
It precludes the third estate of the State from making reformative contributions in respect of
matters to which its adjudicatory power has been ousted.2 An assertive example is enshrined in
the proviso of S. 6 (6) (C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as
amended, Ousting the jurisdiction of Nigerian Courts in matters relating to Directive
Principles.3
It makes the legislative arm the final and infallible apparatus on matters in which
the Jurisdiction of the Court has been ousted. It seeks to delineate the increasing powers of
Court in the exercise of judicial review.4
In considering the operation of Ouster Clauses, one must look into the existing relationship
between the tripartite organs of government against the backdrop of liens exercised over each
other: The Court being an arbiter of justice, the body constitutionally saddled with the
responsibility of interpretation and curtailing of excesses in procedural legal enforcement
occasioning arbitrariness.

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