Alternative dispute resolution of matters, especially, commercial cases, has become a permanent feature of the Nigerian legal system. However, this is one area in which there is a dearth of literature, notwithstanding the statutes and avalanche of case-law that pervade the scene.
The ice had been broken by Orojo and Ajomo in their book, Law and Practice of Arbitration and Conciliation in Nigeria followed by Akpata in his work on arbitration. Now it seems, by the production of this well-written work on Commercial Arbitration in Nigeria: Law and Practice, no excuse could any longer be proffered for seeking foreign authors in the field of arbitration in Nigeria.
Mr. Fabian Ajogwu has done a thorough job that would be of delight to practitioners in Arbitration, both as Tribunal or counsel. He has left no stone untouched in achieving the aim of ADR, which he has rightly said, provides “The Mechanism for Dispute Resolution processes and techniques that fall outside of the judicial process, which is provided by the government.” The author is right. He is also right, when he pronounced on the rising popularity of ADR:
“The rising popularity of ADR can be explained by the increasing number of cases being handled by the traditional courts and the attendant delays, the perception that ADR implies lower costs than litigation, a preference for confidentiality and the desire of some parties to have greater control over the selection of the individual or individuals who will settle their dispute on the basis of competence, experience and absence of bias.”
If only for these reasons and the fact of commercial convenience to corporations, thereby ADR would not disrupt the original contact inter se or with others outside their domain, corporations, lawyers and ADR practitioners should have easy access to definitive literature that would enhance the progress before Tribunals. The case law is heavy and not easily accessible without help. And when comes a book of this depth, which could be relied upon in respect of search and research with the ultimate aim of achieving not only speed but unadulterated justice, justice is assured.
For in ADR, as the parties agree to be bound by the decisions of the Tribunal, they should have confidence that the Tribunal is always posited to do justice. And for the Tribunal, the practitioners and the parties, there is necessity for the type of work that has been done by this author in his book.
One interesting innovation is the chapter fourteen of this book which deals with Moot Proceedings.
The author has shown that the book has no limitations. Teachers and students of arbitral procedures are supplied with a weapon of pursuit of excellence. And thus, everyone, be he a student, party, counsel and tribunal, has a deep fountain to draw from.
I feel highly honoured to have been called upon to write a foreword to this book. It is a book for the shelf of everyone of whatever discipline, who believes in actualizing speed, in the determination of cases, especially commercial cases.
I congratulate the author.
HON JUSTICE KAYODE ESO, CON, LTD, LITT.D
Formerly Justice Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Formerly President Chartered Institution of Arbitrators (Nigeria),
Chancellor Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.