1) Concerning oneself with enforcing a child support judgment from the
U.S. Court in a foreign country is like putting the cart before the horse. The state court's responsibility is to first
promulgate the order.
to the Kathie Baker and Mary Ellen Sariti of the U.S. Department of State, Senator Uzamere is a citizen of the United States.
Once the state court obeys the law and promulgates the order for Senator Uzamere to pay child support, it is only a matter
of time before Senator Uzamere returns and then goes to jail for not paying it. Basically, once a dead-beat parent is a citizen
of the United States, payment is simply a matter of time.
3) The Constitution of Nigeria recognizes
the Republic's responsibility to respect international law. Chapter II, Foreign Policy Objective, §19(d)
of the constitution says: "...respect international law and treaty obligations as well as the seeking of
settlement of international disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication..."
4) The Marital Causes Act of 1990 of the Laws of the Federal of Nigeria (http://www.nigeria-law.org/Matrimonial%20Causes%20Act.htm) says the following regarding the recognition of foreign
judgments of divorce and the enforcement of decrees:
Part VI. Recognition of Decrees
80. Where a decree is made under this Act it shall have
effect in all States of the Federation.
81. (2) A dissolution or annulment of a marriage effected in accordance with the law of a
foreign country shall be recognised as valid in Nigeria where, at the date of the institution of the proceedings that resulted
in the dissolution or annulment, the party at whose instance the dissolution or annulment was effected (or, if it was effected
at the instance of both parties, either of those parties)-
(a) in the case of the dissolution of a marriage...was domiciled in that foreign country;
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this
(a) where a dissolution
of a marriage was effected in accordance with the law of a foreign country at the instance of a deserted wife who was domiciled
in that foreign country either immediately before her marriage or immediately before the desertion, she shall be deemed to
have been domiciled in that foreign country at the date of the institution of the proceedings that resulted in the dissolution;
(b) a wife who, at the date of
the institution of the proceedings that resulted in a dissolution or annulment of her marriage in accordance with the law
of a foreign country, was resident in that foreign country and had been so resident for a period of three years immediately
preceding that date shall be deemed to have been domiciled in that foreign country at that date.
(5) Any dissolution or annulment of a marriage that would be recognised
as valid under the rules of private international law but to which none of the preceding provisions of this section applies
shall be recognized as valid in Nigeria, and the operation of this subsection shall not be limited by any implication from
(9) In this section,
"foreign country" means a country, or part of a country, outside the Federation.
VIII - Enforcement of Decrees
88 (1) Subject to rules of court, a court
having jurisdiction under this Act may enforce by attachment or other process an order made by it under this Act for payment
of maintenance or costs or in respect of the custody of, or access, to children.
89. (2) A decree registered in a court
under this section may, subject to rules of court, be enforced as if it had been made by the court in which it is registered.
90. (1) Where a decree
made under this Act orders the payment of money to a person, any moneys payable under the decree may be recovered as a judgment
debt in a court of competent jurisdiction.
91. (1) Where pursuant to this Act, a court has made an order for payment
of maintenance, the order may be registered in accordance with rules of court in a court of summary jurisdiction of a State
of the Federation, and an order so registered may, subject to rules of court, be enforced in the same manner as if it were
an order for maintenance of a deserted wife made by the court of summary jurisdiction.
You may also wish to contact Honorable Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, Nigeria's
Minister of Justice is the expert on the enforcement of foreign judgments. His contact information is as follows:
Federal Secretariat Towers (5th & 10th floors),
Shehu Shagari Way, Central Area
Garki, Abuja, Nigeria
Tel: 09-5235208, 09-5237676.
Lastly, the U.S. Department of State has a website entitled "Child Support Enforcement Abroad" that answers questions regarding dead-beat parents who live in countries
that do not have a reciprocal arrangement with the federal government or individual states to to pay child support.
While the U.S. government recognizes that there are countries that do not have reciprocal agreements, nevertheless, the United
States in no way uses a foreign country's lack of reciprocity as an excuse not to make promulgate a child support order.