HOW TO ENFORCE ARBITRAL AWARD IN NIGERIA
Step by step guide on how to enforce arbitral award in Nigeria.
To enforce arbitral awards in Nigeria, you can follow the procedure outlined below:
1. Obtain a Valid Arbitral Award: First, ensure that you have a valid arbitral award issued by an arbitral tribunal. The award should be final and binding on the parties involved
2. Confirm the Jurisdiction: Check if the Nigerian courts have jurisdiction over the dispute and the arbitral award. Generally, Nigerian courts have jurisdiction when the arbitration took place in Nigeria or if the parties agreed to Nigerian law as the governing law.
3. File an Application: Prepare an application to the Nigerian court requesting enforcement of the arbitral award. This application should be supported by relevant documents, such as the original arbitral award, the arbitration agreement, and evidence of service of the award on the other party.
4. Submit Required Documents: Submit the application along with the necessary supporting documents to the appropriate court. The court that has jurisdiction over the matter is typically the High Court of a state where the enforcement is sought or the Federal High Court if the dispute involves federal laws
5. Serve Notice on the Other Party: After filing the application, serve notice to the other party informing them about the enforcement application. This is to provide them an opportunity to respond or oppose the enforcement if they wish to do so.
6. Attend Court Hearings: Attend the court hearings related to the enforcement application. The court will review the documents and hear arguments from both parties before making a decision.
7. Court Decision: If the court is satisfied that the requirements for enforcement are met, it will issue an order granting enforcement of the arbitral award. Once the court grants the order, it has the same effect as a judgment of the court.
8. Execution of the Award: After obtaining the court order, you can initiate the execution process to enforce the arbitral award. This may involve various methods, such as seizing assets, freezing bank accounts, or other measures available under Nigerian law to satisfy the award.
It is important to note that the enforcement process may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the court where the application is filed. It is advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified Nigerian lawyer with experience in international arbitration and enforcement proceedings to ensure compliance with all relevant requirements and procedures