News & Events

JUL 2015 NEWS Aluko & Oyebode

July 2015


Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution which operates largely outside the state sponsored Court structure often utilized by businesses globally. As a result, many countries are increasingly becoming aware that adopting pro-arbitration policies is a suitable way of attracting foreign investors because of the certainty, speed and confidentiality it provides when disputes inevitably arise. Nigeria is not left out. In a bid to promote international commerce, in the country, Nigerian courts are increasingly making pro-arbitration decisions. This trend is a good signal for parties who are wary that their adversaries may seek to truncate or paralyze the arbitration agreements they executed by going to the courts.

In two recent cases, the Court of Appeal took a pro-arbitration stand which has far reaching implications on the jurisprudence behind enforcing arbitration agreements and awards. These decisions are Northpole Navigation Co. Ltd v Milan Nigeria Ltd.[1] and Statoil Nigeria Ltd v Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited & 3 Ors.[2]

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[1] CA/L/236/2014, Delivered on 22 May 2015 (Unreported)

[2] CA/L/885/2011, Reported in Thisday Newspaper, Tuesday, 16 June 2015