Fundamental Principles of Multi-Party Arbitration in Nigeria

Posted on Jun 9, 2016

By Soibi Ovia

The principal law governing arbitration in Nigeria is the Arbitration and Conciliation Act CAP A18 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (the “Act”). Some states in Nigeria have however made legislations to govern Arbitration in their various states. For example the Lagos State Arbitration Law (Law No. 18) 2009 (the “Law”) provides for the resolution of disputes within Lagos State by arbitration, except otherwise agreed by the parties to the arbitration agreement. We will make references to these enactments through the course of this write up.

Generally there are two parties to an arbitration agreement, stemming from the bilateral nature of simple contracts. However, with the evolution of commercial contracts into more complex and technical relationships, we have witnessed the advent of multiparty contracts and multiple contracts hinged on a single project. The attendant effect of this is the multiplicity of claims, multiplicity of parties and multiplicity of arbitrations thereby leading to inconsistency in decisions, attendant cost implications and time wastage. It is for these reasons that Multi-party arbitration has become necessary.

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