Chiejina and Piccol Nigeria Ltd v Federal Republic of Nigeria - United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 22-7146 - Appellant Brief - 10 February 2023
This appeal arises from an action to confirm a foreign arbitration award issued in Nigeria in favor of a Nigerian limited liability company and against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The underlying Nigerian arbitral award-denominated in Nigerian naira-results from a contract dispute between Nigeria and PICCOL that provided for the construction of a gully erosion control system in Nigeria in exchange for payment in Nigerian naira. The dispute has no connection to the United States.
Nevertheless, Petitioners seek to confirm the arbitration award in U.S. courts in hopes of converting the award into U.S. dollars at cherry-picked advantageous U.S. exchange rates from more than a decade ago. If successful, Petitioners stand to recover a massive multi-million-dollar windfall based on nothing more than fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the Nigerian naira that have no relation to the dispute. And Petitioners’ request is all the more improper because the district court lacks both subject-matter and personal jurisdiction under the FSIA.