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THE 1958 ORDINANCE STILL APPLIES TO REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN JUDGEMENTS

Dictum

The 1958 Ordinance was promulgated as No.8 of 1922 “to facilitate the reciprocal enforcement of judgments obtained in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom and other parts of Her Majesty’s Dominions and Territories under Her Majesty’s protection”. It came into operation on the 19th of January, 1922. There is no doubt therefore that it applies to all judgments of the superior courts obtained in the United Kingdom and its application can be extended to any other territory administered by the United Kingdom or any other foreign country. This can be done by proclamations pursuant to section 5 of that Ordinance. Therefore the 1958 Ordinance not having been repealed by the 1990 Act, still applies to the United Kingdom.

— A. Kalgo, JSC. Macaulay v RZB (2003) – SC.109/2002

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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

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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

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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

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PREREQUISITES TO SET ASIDE FOREIGN JUDGEMENT WILL BE CONSIDERED WHEN FOREIGN JUDGEMENT IS TO BE REGISTERED

The purpose from the subtitle is for cases in which registered Judgments must or may be set aside. There is no doubt that the application in the lower court is not for an Order to set aside but to register a Foreign Judgment. Notwithstanding, the requirements under S6(2) and S6(3) are germane to all Foreign Judgment applications. This is because prescribed conditions therein will serve as a guard for the court to avoid circumstances wherein a registered Judgment will be subsequently set aside on the basis of the provision stated in S6 of the Act. The provision therein is not mandatory but necessary when considering whether a Foreign Judgment will be registered or not … Therefore once Applicant seeking registration has presented facts to support the prerequisites under S4 for registration, the lower court must presume the foreign court had jurisdiction. The court will refuse to register a foreign Judgment when these aforesaid conditions have not been fulfilled inclusive of where the Judgment could not be enforced by execution in the country of the original court. The conditions set out under S4 of the foreign Judgment (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act should be considered by the Learned Trial Judge before registering the Judgment or refusing to register.

— R.O. Nwodo, JCA. Teleglobe v 21st Century Tech. (2008) – CA/L/694/2006

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MEANING OF “OR” IN RELATION GROUNDS UPON WHICH FOREIGN JUDGEMENT MAY NOT BE REGISTERED

Section 3(2)(a-f) of the 1958 Act quoted above specified the grounds upon which foreign Judgment should not be registered. The grounds are alternative grounds and cannot be combined. I agree with the submission of the learned Senior Counsel for the Respondent that the word “or” used in between the grounds is disjunctive and not conjunctive. The word “or” suggests that one cannot rely on the two grounds at the same time.

— J.O. Bada, JCA. Conoil v Vitol (2011) – CA/A/213/2010

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THE REGISTERING COURT AND THE ORIGINAL COURT SHOULD KEEP WATCH NOT TO CONFLICT IN EXECUTION

The process of execution of a judgment may take different forms and may necessitate other ancillary proceedings. In the quest to eliminate any conflict of jurisdiction as to execution between the registering court and the original court, it is important for either of the courts to discover what is being done or has been done by either of them at a particular time before either assumes jurisdiction. It seems to me that the matter boils down to the necessity for both courts to prevent an abuse of its execution process rather than in the proclamation of principles.

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

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