Nigeria: Procedure For Recognition And Enforcement Of Arbitral Awards In Nigeria

Last Updated: 3 April 2018
Article by Emmanuel Ekpenyong

(a) Under the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, CAP A18, LFN, 2004 ("the Arbitration Act")

Section 51 of the Arbitration Act provides a unified legal framework for recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards of both local and foreign arbitral awards thus;

(1) "An arbitral award shall, irrespective of the country in which it is made, be recognized as binding and subject to section 32 of this Act, shall, upon application in writing to the court, be enforced by the court.

(2) The party relying on an award or applying for its enforcement shall supply

(a) the duly authenticated original award or a duly certified copy thereof;

(b) the original arbitration agreement or a duly certified copy thereof; and

(c) where the award or arbitration agreement is not made in the English language, a duly certified translation thereof into the English language"

In the case of Imani & Sons Ltd. V. BIL Construction Co. Ltd (1999) NWLR 12 (Pt. 630), 253 at 263, the Court of Appeal held that in addition to the motion on notice filed by the party seeking enforcement, the party also needs to provide the following simple requirements; 

"(1) The Arbitration Agreement;

(2) The Original Award;

(3) The name and last place of business of the person against whom it is intended to be enforced;

(4) Statement that the award has not been complied with, or complied with only in part"

In Ebokam v. Ekwenibe & Sons Trading Company, (2001) NWLR 2 (Pt. 696),32, the Nigerian Court of Appeal listed additional requirements needed for a party seeking recognition and enforcement under the New York Convention. The requirements are as follows;

1. The arbitration agreement;

2. That the dispute arose within the terms of the submission;

3. That arbitrators were appointed in accordance with the clause which contains the submission;

4. The making of the award; and

5. That the amount awarded has not been paid.

Once the Court recognizes the award by granting leave to the creditor to register same, it shall be enforced as a judgment of that Court.

(b) Under the registration of foreign judgments statutes

The Reciprocal Enforcement of Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Ordinance 1958 ("the 1958 Ordinance") and the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, Cap F35, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 ("the 2004 Act") regulates registration of foreign judgments in Nigeria. For an award to be recognized under these legislations, it must be registered in the court of the country where it was made and become enforceable in the same manner as a judgment given by the court in that jurisdiction.

In Tulip Nig. Ltd v Noleggioe Transport Maritime S.A.S, (2011) NWLR 4 (Pt.1237), 254, the Court held that:

"the provisions of the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Ordinance Cap 175 LFN 1958 and the Foreign Judgment (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1990 will apply in the enforcement of foreign arbitral award where same has been elevated to the status of a judgment by leave of the High Court been sought and obtained"

It was further held that the judgment shall become binding on the parties concerned irrespective of the country in which it was made and the court before whom an application is brought for enforcement is duty bound to enforce same. Therefore for an arbitral award to be elevated to the status of a judgment which can be registered and enforced under the 1958 Ordinance or 2004 Act, the creditor is required to have applied and obtained leave of the court in the country where the award was made in order to enforce the award in the same manner as a judgment of that court.

(c)Action upon award

Arbitral awards can be enforced by commencing an action upon the award. In the case of a foreign award, it is inconsequential whether there is reciprocal treatment in the country where the award was obtained or not.

In Topher Inc of New York v Edokpolor (Trading as John Edokpolor & Sons), (1965) 1 All NLR 1, 307, the Plaintiffs sued for the sum of £2,142 awarded in its favor by arbitrators in New York, and the Defendant moved the High Court to set aside the award on the ground that it was "founded on a Foreign Arbitration governed by the laws of the State of New York, United States of America". The trial Judge, whilst noting that in Nigeria, there was no statute similar to the Arbitrations (Foreign Awards) Act, 1930, of England held, as submitted for the Defendant that;

"for a foreign arbitral award to be recognized here there must be a treaty guaranteeing reciprocal treatment or an order in Council to that effect"

On appeal to the Supreme Court, the Court held as follows:

"i. A party is not prevented from suing upon a foreign judgment regardless of whether there is a reciprocal treatment in the country where it is obtained, if no order is made under section 124 to modify that position.

ii. A suit brought upon a foreign award ought not to be struck out merely on the ground that there must be a treaty guaranteeing reciprocal treatment in the country where it was made or an Order in Council to that effect"

This is based on the Doctrine of Obligation which postulates that if a foreign court of competent jurisdiction has adjudicated a certain sum to be due from one person to another, the liability to pay that sum becomes a legal obligation enforceable domestically by a debt action.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Emmanuel Ekpenyong
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions