By Catriona E. Paterson

In its recent decision in L R Avionics Technologies Limited v. The Federal Republic of Nigeria & Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria[1], the Commercial Court found that that premises owned by Nigeria were not “in use […] for commercial purposes” within the meaning of section 13(4) of the State Immunity Act (SIA) and therefore were not capable of being attached in proceedings for the enforcement of an arbitral award and judgment against the State.

In consequence, although successful in an underlying arbitration, L R Avionics Technologies Ltd (the Claimant) had its attempts to enforce its arbitral award frustrated by the rules of State immunity from enforcement as articulated in the SIA.