With rather coincidental timeliness following our recent blog entry (also published elsewhere) on the enforcement of foreign judgments in Nigeria, our friend and Colleague Adewale Olawoyin of the Nigerian law firm Olawoyin & Olawoyin has just published a very instructive article on the same topic in the Journal of Private International Law.
The article agrees with our conclusion in both the recent blog entry and ’Gbenga Bamodu’s earlier similarly analytical article in the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal that, contrary to the decisions of the Nigerian Supreme Court, the Foreign Judgment (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1960 really should be and continue to be inoperative until relevant orders are made by the Minister of Justice.
’Wale’s article also goes on to make important observations and recommendations. Arguably, the most important of these is that the Nigerian legislature and policy makers should really be looking at enacting a new legislative regime for the enforcement of foreign judgments in Nigeria. The suggested new regime does not necessarily have to be based on reciprocity, it can take account of Nigeria’s commercial and strategic interests especially bearing in mind which countries are Nigeria’s most important trading partners, and it might even take account of non-money judgments . Finally, the new regime would obviate all the potential difficulties of interpretation that may attend both the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act 1922 and the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcements) Act 1960. We heartily recommend this article.