Wednesday, January 23, 2008

15 January 2008

Abiola v. Abubakar, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2937 (January 15, 2008).
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vacated its June 27, 2006 holding that Nigerian plaintiffs satisfied their "burden of proving that Nigeria did not and does not provide them an adequate forum for their [ATS and TVPA] lawsuit."

In vacating this two year old decision, the court agreed to do so mainly because Nigeria agreed to settle (undisclosed amount) with plaintiffs on the condition that the earlier holding be vacated. The court noted "that its determination to vacate the decision does not arise from, and should not be considered to reflect, any question or hesitation about the accuracy of the [June 27, 2006] decision."

Because the earlier decision continues to be available on Westlaw and Lexis, "the Court cannot control what weight other parties and judges may put on the decision in the future, and nothing we are doing here can, in a practical way, detract from whatever persuasive force the decision might be considered by others to have."