But I will go on to also accept the submission of learned counsel for the plaintiff that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the Bank of Baroda is a foreign company incorporated in Nigeria. If that be the case, the Nigerian courts ought to accord the status granted to it by the country of its incorporation. This principle said to be by the comity of nations has long been accepted as binding by the English Courts. This principle fell for consideration in Lazard Brothers & Co. v. Midland Bank Ltd. (1933) A.C. 289 at p. 297, Lord Wright declared the law thus:- “English courts have long since recognized as juristic persons corporations established by foreign law in virtue of the fact of their creation and continuance under and by that law. Such recognition is said to be by the comity of nations. Thus in Henriques v. Dutch West India Co. [(1728) 2Ld Raym 1532, 1535] the Dutch company were permitted to sue in the King’s Bench on evidence being given ‘of the proper instruments whereby by the law of Holland they were effectually created a corporation there’. But as the creation depends on the act of the foreign state which created them, the annulment of the act of creation by the same power will involve the dissolution and non-existence of the corporation in the eyes of English law. The will of the sovereign authority which created it can also destroy it. English law will equally recognize the one, as the other fact.” See also Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th Edition Vol. 8(1) para. 983, where the principle was put thus:- “English law recognizes the existence of a corporation duly created in a foreign country, and will allow it to sue and be sued in England in its corporate capacity. It follows that whether a corporation has continued in existence or has been dissolved is likewise governed by the law of its place of incorporation.” … It is my humble view, that as this country ranks as a part of the comity of nations, the principle enunciated above with regard to corporations that owe their creations to a foreign law should also by all means be granted the right to sue and be sued in Nigerian courts. On that premise, I adopt the apt statement of the law by Lord Wright in Lazard Bros & Co. v. Midland Bank Ltd. (supra). But I will for this purpose substitute Nigerian courts where English courts occur in the above passage from the judgment of Lord Wright.

— O. Ejiwunmi, JSC. Bank of Baroda v. Iyalabani (2002) – SC.59/1998

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