CAN AN ORDER OF A COURT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAVE EFFECT OVER YOUR PROPERTY IN LAGOS, NIGERIA?

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topebabade
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Joined: 18 Aug 2019, 05:58

CAN AN ORDER OF A COURT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAVE EFFECT OVER YOUR PROPERTY IN LAGOS, NIGERIA?

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CAN AN ORDER OF A COURT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAVE EFFECT OVER YOUR PROPERTY IN LAGOS, NIGERIA?

In the recent case of Yankey v Austin (2020) LPELR-49540 (CA), the Nigerian Court of Appeal was faced with the issue of whether the order of a court in the United States of America can affect a property in Lagos, Nigeria.

In the said case, the Court, Per Ogakwu, J.C.A stated that "The findings of facts of the United States Court in paragraph VII of Exhibit FA2, that the parties own real property in Lagos, going by the stipulations of paragraph 7 of Exhibit FA1, the Marital Termination Agreement, does not equate to a finding of fact on joint ownership of the Lagos property, in the light of the fact that the Lagos property was not an issue before it and it could therefore not adjudicate upon the same, *_coupled with the fact that even if it was an issue before it, it could not have adjudicated upon the same based on the principle of lex situs and the fact that the subject matter was not within its jurisdiction_*."

In law, based on the principle of territorial sovereignty, a foreign court cannot make an order affecting immovable property in another country.  This rule in Nigeria is often referred to a the "Mocambique Rule" because it is derived from the English case of British South Africa Company v Companhia de Mocambique [1893] AC 602.

For legal opinion on issues relating to court orders against any property, please consult a Real Estate/Property Lawyer. Thank you. Feel free to share.

Ayobayo Babade
Chief Legal Adviser & Head of Operations,
Tope Babade & Co (Real Estate Consultants),
Tel/WhatsApp: +234 813 834 4488
E-Property Catalogue: https://wa.me/c/2348138344488


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