Federal Republic of Nigeria v VR Advisory Services Ltd - United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Docket No 20-3909-cv - Order - 24 February 2022
LYNCH, CARNEY, and SULLIVAN, Circuit Judges.
Applicants-Appellants the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its Attorney General (together, "Nigeria"), appeal an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Engelmayer, J.) vacating its earlier grant of Nigeria's application for discovery from Respondents-Appellees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782. The district court considered Nigeria's use of § 1782 an improper attempt to "circumvent" the procedures set out in the Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, U.S.-Nigeria, Sept. 13, 1989, T.I.A.S. No. 03-114.1 ("the MLAT"), for obtaining assistance from the United States Department of Justice in gathering evidence for use in criminal matters. The district court's ruling was based on an error of law. Nothing in the MLAT, § 1782, or any source of United States policy identified by the district court requires Nigeria to utilize the MLAT before or instead of § 1782.
Accordingly, we VACATE the judgment of the district court and REMAND for further consideration of the application.