Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN JUDGEMENT DOES NOT DEPRIVE THE ORIGINAL COURT OF JURISDICTION

Dictum

I agree that the registration of a judgment in a foreign Court for purposes of execution does not rob the original court of its jurisdiction over the matter and the execution of its judgment. For, the judgment-creditor could be enforcing the judgment in both jurisdictions wherever he can find the debtor’s property. But the matter in issue herein, which in my view had been decided by the registering court in England which had jurisdiction so to do, and the Arbitrator duly appointed by consent of parties in accordance with the “compromise” order of the registering court, ought not be relitigated in the original court in Nigeria. I should think that doing so tantamount to either asking the Nigerian Court to sit on appeal over the decision of another Court which had already exercised coordinate jurisdiction available to either Court, or setting aside the award of the Arbitrator which the Respondent had not challenged in accordance with the known principles governing arbitral proceedings.

— Nzeako, JCA. Adwork Ltd. v Nigeria Airways Ltd. (1999) – CA/L/156/99

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

THE 1958 RECIPROCAL ACT APPLIES SINCE THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE IS YET TO MAKE AN ORDER UNDER THE 1990 ACT

Taking into consideration that Part I of the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, CAP 152 of the Laws of the Federation, 1990, comprising Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, is to come into force only at the instance of the Minister of Justice by an order issued by him as specified in Section 3 of the Act, and in the absence of this order directing the application of Part I of the Act to the chosen countries specified in the order, the provisions of the earlier 1958 Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act CAP 175, remains applicable to the registration of foreign Judgments in Nigeria, particularly Judgments of the United Kingdom, one of which is the subject of this appeal. In other words Section 6 of the 1990, Act which was relied upon by the parties at the Courts below and interpreted and applied by the Court of Appeal below in its Judgment, is yet to come into force in the absence of the Order to bring it into force together with the other Sections in Part I of the Act by the Hon. Minister of Justice. This situation makes it necessary to fall back to the 1958 Ordinance to determine whether or not the Foreign Judgment of the Appellant was registrable under that Act.

— M. Mohammed, JSC. Grosvenor v Halaloui (2009) – SC.373/2002

Was this dictum helpful?

ORIGINAL COURT WHICH GAVE JUDGEMENT DOES NOT LOSE JURISDICTION IN RELATION TO THE EXECUTION PROCESS

I am in agreement with the learned counsel for the respondent, that the original court which gave judgment does not lose its jurisdiction in relation to the execution process in the case just because the judgment has been registered in a foreign country. But, once it is recognised that a registering court has the same power with respect to execution as the original court, it becomes important to monitor closely what the registering court is doing in relation to the execution of a particular registered judgment in order to ensure that there is no conflict in the exercise of powers as to execution between the registering court and the court which originally gave the judgment.

— Oguntade, JCA. Adwork Ltd. v Nigeria Airways Ltd. (1999) – CA/L/156/99

Was this dictum helpful?

NON-SUBMISSION TO THE JURISDICTION OF FOREIGN COURT

✓ In the New Zealand case of Sharps Commercials Ltd. v. Gas Turbines Ltd. (1956) NZLR 819, the Supreme Court of that country, held that a judgment given by the High Court of Justice in England in an action in personam (as in the instant case leading to this appeal), could not be registered in that Supreme Court because, the judgment debtor – a Company registered in New Zealand, which at no time, had any office or place of business in England, but or although it was served with the Writ, it did not take any part in the proceedings in the said High Court or submit to its jurisdiction or agree in respect of the subject-matter of the proceedings to submit to the judgment of that court, because none of the conditions set out in Section 6(3) of the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act, 1934 of New Zealand (which is substantially the same with the 1958 Act).

✓ In the case of Schibsby v. Westenholz & Ors. (1861 – 73) All E.R. 988, it was held that a judgment obtained in a foreign court in default of appearance, against the defendants who were not subjects of the Foreign State and who also, were not resident there at the time the proceedings were instituted and who also did not own any property in that foreign State, but although the defendants had notice of the said proceedings sufficient for them to have appeared and defend the action, they had no duty, to obey the judgment so, an action to have the judgment enforced, failed. I note however, that this case, was before the 1933 Act.

✓ In the case of Societe Cooperative Sidmetal v. Titan Internatioonal Ltd. (1966) 1 Q.B. 828. it was held or decided by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, London, England, that a judgment of a Belgian Court given against a defendant resident in England, could not be registered in England under the 1933 Act because, although the defendant, was served with the processes in England, he did not surrender to the jurisdiction of the Belgian Court by voluntarily appearing and participating in the proceedings.

Was this dictum helpful?

JUDGEMENT NOT ENFORCEABLE IN ORIGINAL COURT WILL NOT BE ENFORCEABLE IN REGISTERING COURT

The reasoning behind the conditions laid down for refusal is very obvious. In other words where a judgment has been satisfied, the interest of the judgment creditor had been served and therefore any further registration of same would serve no beneficial purpose but a mere waste of time. There would be nothing more to pursue. Further more and on the second reason warranting refusal, it is a matter of common knowledge that any judgment which by its nature cannot be enforced by exemption in the country of the original court would certainly and invariably encourter the same situational characteristics wheresoever else. Basically the general fundamentals relating to the purpose, determination application and effectual reasonings of any legal system are principally based on the same pedestal connotation. Any judgment which could not be executed is as good as none at all.

— C.B. Ogunbiyi, JCA. Teleglobe v 21st Century Tech. (2008) – CA/L/694/2006

Was this dictum helpful?

SIX YEARS FOR REGISTRATION OF JUDGEMENT CAN ONLY APPLY WHERE MINISTER HAS EXERCISED HIS POWER

In 1961, the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcements) Act (Cap. 152) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria was enacted. Under section 4(1), the period within which a foreign judgment may be registered in Nigeria was extended to six years from the date of such judgment. But section 3(1) of the Act makes the applicability of the six years’ period subject to an order by the Minister of Justice directing that Part I of the Act [which includes section 4(1)] shall extend to a relevant foreign country … Section 9 of the Act preserves the effect of the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Ordinance until an order envisaged under section 3(1) is made by the Minister. This relates to all foreign judgments including those given in the United Kingdom which should be registered within 12 months or such longer period the court may allow them.

— S.O. Uwaifo, JSC. Macaulay v RZB (2003) – SC.109/2002

Was this dictum helpful?

FOREIGN DECISIONS ARE ONLY OF PERSUASIVE VALUE

In Olafisoye v. FRN (2004) 4 NWLR (Pt. 864) 580, Niki Tobi JSC (God bless his soul) had emphatically held inter alia thus: Decisions of Foreign Countries are merely of persuasive authority. This Court will certainly allow itself to be persuaded in appropriate cases but this Court will not stray away from its course of interpreting the Nigerian Constitution by resorting to foreign decisions which were decided strictly in the context of their Constitution and which are not similar to ours. See also Okon v. The State (1988) 1 NWLR (Pt. 69) 172 @ p. 180, where Nnemeka-Agu, JSC had stated inter alia thus: ”It is well to remember not only that a foreign decision should at best be of persuasive authority in a Nigerian Court but also that before it can even qualify as such, the legislation, substantive or adjectival, upon which it was based must be in pari materia with our own. It is dangerous to follow a foreign decision simply because its wording approximates to our own. Nigerian Courts are obliged to give Nigerian Legislation its natural and ordinary meaning, taking into account our own sociological circumstances as well as other factors which form the background of our Local Legislation in question. A Copy-Cat transportation of an English decision may in some circumstance turn out to be inimical to justice in our own Courts. See also Adetoun Oladeji (Nig) Ltd v. Nigerian Breweries PLC (2007) LPELR 160 (SC) Dada v. The State (1977) NCLR 135; Eliochin Nig. Ltd. v. Mbadiwe (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 14) 47; Nigerian National Supply Co. Ltd v. Alhaji Hamajode Sabana Co. Ltd (No 3) (1988) 2 NWLR (Pt. 74) 23: Senator Adesanya v. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1981) 5 SC 112; Yahaya v. State (2002) 3 NWLR (Pt. 754) 289.

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.