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Article by Dr. Ani Comfort Chinyere LL.B (Hons.) BL; LL.M.. Ph.D. Ag. Head, Centre for Conflict and  Dispute Resolution, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos. [email protected]




Nigeria with an estimated population of 140 million is unarguably the most populous nation in Africa. It offers investors a low-cost labor pool, abundant natural resources, and potentially the largest domestic market in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this intimidating profile, Nigeria is yet to become attractive to a lot of local and international commercial investors.

An indicator of the downward trend in investments is the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) report that since July 2008, the outflow of foreign exchange has actually far outstripped the inflows. Former CBN Governor Professor Chukwuma Soludo said that the total inflow in February 2009 was about $800 million while the total inflow in March 2009 was about $691 million”.[1]

Also speaking at a Senate Committee hearing, the Director-General of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Prof. Okereke-Onyuike reported that a total of N812 billion in foreign investments in the stock market were withdrawn between 2007 and 2008. She said that N250 billion came in as foreign investment in 2007 but did not state how much came into the exchange in 2008[2]. Although the global financial crisis is considered a fundamental reason holding back local and foreign investors and commercial businesses, impediments to investment in Nigeria also include: poor governance, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, an inefficient system of registering property, an inconsistent regulatory environment, restrictive trade policies, repeated cases of hostage taking and attacks on oil installations in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, and slow and ineffective courts and dispute resolution mechanisms.[3] This last factor is a major hindrance to both local and foreign investments in Nigeria and this is what this article intends to address.  Kehinde Aina has identified government political stability and the fairness and efficiency of the judiciary as two major factors that would weigh heavily in the mind of any foreign investor in making financial decisions.[4]

Disputes are a perennial element of human existence. It occurs among humans so long as there is interaction. Though there is a marked reduction in investment rate in Nigeria, yet several commercial transactions still take place daily between individuals; between individuals and corporate bodies and between the government and individuals or corporate bodies. As transactions are multifarious, so also are the possibilities of disagreements and controversies arising out of perhaps non performance of an obligation by a party in a business transaction. Sometimes parties to contractual agreement provide for ADR methods as a means of resolving existing or future disputes. The parties might wish to submit their dispute to mediation prior to arbitration or litigation. ADR and litigation approaches often go hand in hand. For example, court-connected mediation, arbitration, or other programs can be adjuncts to the existing litigation system, and judges can order disputes in litigation to be transferred to those regimes.[5] The focal point of commercial mediation is on achieving quick and fair justice. Virtually any commercial dispute that would otherwise find its way to the court is appropriate for mediation.  Examples include contract disputes, insurance claims disputes, construction and real estate matters, etc.

The focus of this article is to canvass for the application of mediation as an ADR mechanism for resolving commercial disputes. It appraises mediation as a viable dispute resolution mechanism for commercial disputes and also presents practical mediation procedures.

  1. Dispute Adjudication by the Courts

The Nigerian legal system is a three-tiered legal system comprising of English common law, Islamic law, and Nigerian customary law. The Constitution[6] established the Federal and the State Courts and gives the National Assembly or any House of Assembly, the right to establish or abolish Courts with subordinate jurisdiction to the ones enumerated in the Constitution.[7]  The following courts are the only superior courts of record in Nigeria: The Supreme Court of Nigeria; the Court of Appeal; the Federal High Court; the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; the State High Courts; the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; the Sharia Court of Appeal of the States; the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; and the states Customary Court of Appeal. These Courts are empowered to adjudicate upon matters between persons, or between government or authority and any person in Nigeria, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations[8]. Besides these courts, the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) set up in fulfillment of section 224 of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA)[9] has exclusive civil jurisdiction to hear and determine matters relevant to a dispute connected to the ISA. Appeals lie from the IST to the Court of Appeal. This has been criticized for the fact that the speed and other features for which one would have gone to the IST would have been frustrated by falling right back into the court system and the dispute will be resolved by seasoned judges who nevertheless, do not have specialized knowledge of markets.[10]


Our courts are inundated with law suits arising out of business transactions and relationships that have gone sour. Some factors identified as causes of the perpetual delays in civil justice delivery include: too many cases being listed for same day in spite of impracticality of their proceeding; Lawyers capitalizing on scheduling too many cases for same day knowing that they will not go on so they do not prepare; not using cogent parts of the rules of procedure available to narrow down the issues like-admissions, settlement of issues, discovery etc. and  some cumbersome rules of procedure that left room for delay.[11]  Despite the introduction of the Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules, 2004, and the practice directions, which make provisions for front loading of cases and pre-trial conferences[12], yet court dockets continue to pile up daily. Inevitably, if cases last for too long, they will be costly to litigate upon by both parties.

  1. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) also known as External Dispute Resolution in some countries, such as Australia, includes dispute resolution processes and techniques that fall outside of the government judicial process.  ADR avoids certain forms of traditional dispute resolution methods such as:  physical force, including small and large scale confrontations, unstructured negotiation, and formal court procedures.[13]

ADR has also been seen as an acronym for African Dispute Resolution. This is buttressed by the fact that traditional African societies settled disputes and differences through Conciliation and mediation with the major aim of reconciling the parties in a manner that engenders good and friendly relationship after the settlement of the dispute. This is achieved through compromise and reparation for the wrong committed.[14] The family heads, the Council of Elders and Village Chiefs act as the conciliators and mediators.[15]

Despite historic resistance to ADR by both parties and their advocates, ADR has gained widespread acceptance among both the general public and the legal profession in recent years. In fact, some courts now require some parties to resort to ADR of some type, usually mediation, before permitting the parties’ cases to be tried. The rising popularity of ADR can be explained by the increasing caseload of traditional courts, the perception that ADR imposes fewer 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 decide their dispute.[16]

ADR is a process which relies on consensual, court annexed, or contractually mandated procedures. The major procedures include:

  • Negotiation- This is the commonest and the first step in all disputes. It is private and usually, no third party is involved. It is the fastest, cheapest, simplest and most party controlled dispute resolution method. When a dispute arises during the execution of a commercial agreement or any other relationship, the parties naturally try to talk to each other with a view to reaching an amicable settlement. It is when negotiation fails that other ADR methods are engaged.
  • Early Neutral Evaluation- In this process, a Neutral Evaluator, who may be a retired judge, an experienced lawyer or such a person with the required background and expertise in a given field. The role of the evaluator in this process is to assist the parties in taking an objective look at the strengths and weaknesses of their own case as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent’s case.[17]
  • Mediation- Mediation is negotiation carried out with the assistance of a neutral third party. It is a voluntary process that offers disputants meaningful and creative solution at a fraction of the cost of the litigation system.[18]  Where disputants are unable to resolve their disputes by negotiation, a third party who is usually referred to as a Mediator, Conciliator, Facilitator or a Neutral may be called to assist them come to a resolution.[19] Mediation places control and ownership of the process on the parties, as the parties control the outcome.
  • Conciliation- Conciliation is quite similar to mediation. Just like mediation, a neutral third party known as a conciliator meets with the parties with a view to resolving the dispute. He acts as “a go between” for the parties who never meet or have refused to meet[20]. He meets and caucuses the parties separately and privately. This is also referred to as “shuttle diplomacy” The main goal of conciliation is to conciliate mainly by seeking concessions. A major difference between conciliation and mediation is that the conciliator is more leading than a mediator and may at any stage of the proceeding make proposals for a settlement of the dispute[21].
  • Arbitration- This is the reference of a dispute or difference between not less than two parties for determination, after hearing both sides in a judicial manner, by a person or persons other than a court of competent jurisdiction.[22] The difference between Mediation and Arbitration is clear-cut. While mediation is voluntary, and the parties mutually agree upon a fair settlement, arbitration is mandatory. The Arbitrator makes a ruling which is final. Arbitration is similar to court except that it is quicker and cheaper. Arbitration clauses are included in many contracts and business agreements. Most commercial disputes and complaints are resolved by voluntary mediation before enforcing mandatory arbitration clauses. The major disadvantage with arbitration is that the Arbitrator’s Ruling is Final. You can not take further legal action in Court. In mediation if both parties don’t come to mutual resolution, the option for Arbitration or Court Litigation still remains.

In Nigeria, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1988[23] provides for a unified and straightforward legal framework for the fair and efficient settlement of commercial disputes by arbitration and conciliation.[24] The Act established internationally competitive arbitration mechanisms, fixed proceeding schedules, provided for the application of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) arbitration rules or any other international arbitration rule acceptable to the parties, and made the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (New York Convention) applicable to contract enforcement, based on reciprocity.[25] The Act allows parties to challenge arbitrators and provides that an arbitration tribunal shall ensure that the parties are accorded equal treatment.

2.6. Hybrid Processes

The dynamics of a dispute may be such that in order to be effectual, a commingling of ADR processes may be utilized[26]. These hybrid processes include: Med-Arb and Med-ENE.

2.6.1  Med-Arb- This is a process in which mediation is followed by Arbitration where mediation fails to resolve a dispute or parts of it[27].

  • Med-ENE- This is a combination of mediation and early neutral evaluation.
  1. Characteristics of Mediation

3.1. A Voluntary Process

Mediation is completely a voluntary process and any party can quit at any time before the settlement agreement is signed. The parties have to agree to mediate either earlier in their agreement or at the prompting of one of the parties. It is entirely the choice of the parties.



3.2. A Private and Confidential Process

This means that it is not open to the public. It is held in behind closed door unlike the court which is held in public. The parties and their representatives may attend mediation sessions. Other persons may attend only with the permission of the parties and with the consent of the mediator. Subject the parties’ agreement, confidential information disclosed to a mediator by the parties or by other participants (witnesses) in the course of the mediation is not divulged by the mediator. The mediator maintains the confidentiality of all information obtained in the mediation, and all records, reports, or other documents received by a mediator while serving in that capacity are confidential. A mediator may tear up any notes he/ she had made during the mediation in the presence of the parties to assure the parties that nothing will be divulged.

No information obtained during the mediation can be used in court. The mediator cannot be compelled to divulge such records or to testify in regard to the mediation in any adversary proceeding or judicial forum.

The parties also are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the mediation and unless agreed to by the parties or required by applicable law, are not to rely on, or introduce as evidence in any arbitral, judicial, or other proceedings any of the following:

  • Views expressed or suggestions made by a party or other participant with respect to a possible settlement of the dispute;
  • Admissions made by a party or other participant in the course of the mediation proceedings;
  • Proposals made or views expressed by the mediator; or
  • The fact that a party had or had not indicated willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the mediator.

3.2. Impartial and Neutral Mediator

The mediator must be a neutral and impartial person. Throughout the mediation, the mediator is expected to maintain the principles of impartiality and neutrality. It is advisable to appoint a person who does not know any of the disputants prior to the mediation. Any mediator whether selected jointly by the parties or appointed by the Mediation Center is required to disclose both to the Center and to the parties where he or she has any financial or personal interest in the outcome of the mediation[28].  The mediator is not a legal representative of any party and has no fiduciary duty to any party.

A mediators is supposed decline a mediation if the mediator cannot conduct it in an impartial manner, and to disclose, as soon as practicable, all actual and potential conflicts of interest that are reasonably known to the mediator and could reasonably be seen as raising a question about the mediator’s impartiality.

3.4. The Process is Guided by Ground Rules

Though mediation is not as formal as the court procedure that has several technicalities and rules, yet for the mediation process to go on smoothly, it is necessary to set some ground rules to govern the negotiation. No party is permitted to interrupt the other when they are speaking, and no rude or obscene language is permitted. The parties are also encouraged to negotiate in good faith; hence, there must be full disclosure of financial data and other relevant information.


3.5. The Parties Negotiate Their Own Settlement

The parties reserve the prerogative to take the decision that they will be bound by. It is outside the duty of the mediator to advise the parties on what to do or to make any decision for them. The mediator provides each party the continued opportunity to identify and express his/her needs, interests and options for resolution.

  1. Mediation Clause in Commercial Agreements

Where the parties wish to adopt mediation as a part of their contractual dispute settlement procedure, they can insert a mediation clause into their contract. The mediation clause may stand on its own or may be in conjunction with a standard arbitration provision:

  • Sample Mediation Clause

Every dispute arising under or connected to this contract will be submitted for an attempt at amicable settlement based on the Mediation Rules of the … Mediation Center.

4.2. Sample Mediation and Arbitration Clause

If a dispute arises out of or relates to this contract, or the breach thereof, and if the dispute cannot be settled through negotiation, the parties agree first to try in good faith to settle the dispute by mediation administered by the … Mediation Center under its Commercial Mediation Procedures before resorting to arbitration, litigation, or some other dispute resolution procedure.

If the parties want to use a mediator to resolve an existing dispute, they can insert the following clause in the agreement:

4.3. Sample mediation Clause for an existing Dispute

The parties hereby submit the following dispute to mediation administered by the … Mediation Center under its Commercial Mediation Procedures.

The clause may also provide for the qualifications of the mediator(s), method of payment, venue of meetings, and any other item of concern to the parties.

  1. Commercial Mediation Procedures

 5.1. Agreement to Mediate

The parties may have stipulated in their contract, for mediation or conciliation of existing or future disputes under the auspices of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC), Abuja Multi-Door Courthouse (AMDC) or that of any other State, the Citizens’ Mediation Centers or any other ADR provider/ center. Where the agreement did not stipulate form mediation of disputes the parties may still decide to mediate the dispute. Typically one of the parties usually initiates the process by writing or visiting any of the providers. After laying his/ her complaints and filling the necessary forms, the other party is invited. If he/she consents to the mediation, both are required to submit brief statements of the nature of the dispute and the relief requested. This helps the mediator to parties to determine whether the case is suitable for mediation. The LMDC maintains a Panel of Neutrals comprising of individuals who have distinguished themselves in their chosen vocations; have considerable relevant experience in their particular field of ADR practice and have been trained and duly certified by a reputable and recognized organization in such field.[29]

A copy of the mediation provision of the parties’ contract or the parties’ stipulation to mediate is also required where applicable. The requesting party is also to furnish the names, regular mail addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of all parties to the dispute and representatives, if any, in the mediation. The parties may also specify qualifications the Mediator should possess.

Because confidentiality is a very serious concern in mediation, the parties and the mediator enter into a confidentiality agreement before the mediation. The parties and the mediator agree not to disclose to any other person what transpired during the mediation.

  1. Role of the Lawyer in Mediation

In mediation, representation by counsel is not required, but it is recommended. However, many lawyers are yet to understand the import of mediation as a viable ADR mechanism. Most lawyers still feel threatened by the increasing recognition and approval of mediation. In reality sometimes when lawyers accompany the disputants to the mediation, they actually act as a clog to the wheel of the mediation process. Some lawyers, out of their narcissistic interests may press it upon their clients not to accept a financial offer, or other proposal, which their client would have accepted if he had attended the mediation without the lawyer. They anticipate that mediation would rob them of plump clients’ fees. The apprehension being expressed by such lawyers are unfounded. They fail to consider that “time is money”, “justice delayed is justice denied” and the ultimate desire of their clients which is to settle the matter as soon as possible and move on with life. Furthermore, nothing stops a lawyer from still charging his client fees for services rendered by accompanying him or her to the mediation.

If a mediator perceives that a lawyer is being obstructive during the mediation, he or she reserves the right to exclude the lawyer and caucus with the disputants alone.

The probability of success of mediation nose-dives if counsel and client are not sufficiently prepared. A lawyer should be familiar with the important facts of the case, both helpful and adverse. He or she should also be well versed in the law that applies both to the claim and to the defense, including any recent cases. Counsel should prepare the client by describing the mediation process and having a discussion of bargaining strategy.[30]

Lawyers require to be well informed about the extreme benefits of mediation and its over riding advantages over litigation. They must not only give mediation and all other ADR processes the desired support but become advocates for the processes.

  1. Responsibilities of the Parties

7.1 Authority to Settle

The parties to mediation must ensure as much as possible that appropriate representatives of each party, having authority to consummate a settlement, attend the mediation conference. Where parties that do not possess absolute authority to settle a dispute, for instance, where a bank delegates its officer to attend a mediation, he will not be in a position to consider and adopt alternatives. He may have been instructed by his superior officers not to go beyond a certain limit in the negotiation. In such instances, parties without absolute authority to settle are often times rigid in their positions and this engenders delays in settlement, as he or she may require to obtain approval on any decision, before entering into any final decision.

7.2. Good Preparation

Prior to and during the scheduled mediation conference session(s) the parties and their representatives shall, as appropriate to each party’s circumstances, exercise their best efforts to prepare for and engage in a meaningful and productive mediation. They should come prepared with their proposals. This is not to say that they should have rigid straight jacket proposals. They should come with an open mind and as proposals and options are being generated, they have to consider their BATNA (Best alternative to negotiated agreement) and WATNA (worst alternative to negotiated agreement).

7.3. Payment of the Fees

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, it is the duty of the parties to pay the Mediation Center’s administrative fees and expenses, including the fees and expenses of the mediator. This is usually divided equally between or among the parties to the mediation.

7.4. Duty to keep to the Terms of the Settlement

After the mediation, the parties have the important duty to carry out or refrain from doing anything agreed in the settlement. Since mediation is meant to offer the parties a win-win situation, the parties should not have difficulty in carrying out the agreement they voluntarily entered into.


7.5. Termination of the Mediation

Any of the parties may withdraw from the mediation at any time. The party terminating the mediation is to immediately inform the mediator and the other party in writing. The mediation will terminate when:

  • A party withdraws from the mediation; or
  • The mediator, at his/her discretion, withdraws from the mediation; or
  • A written settlement agreement is concluded[31].
  1. The Actual Mediation

After the parties have agreed to mediate, a date is fixed for the actual mediation and the parties are expected to arrive promptly at the venue of the mediation. The mediation process comprises of some major stages. The process may differ slightly depending on the person conducting the mediation. The stages applicable in a typical mediation session are briefly described below.

8.1. The Opening Statement

The mediator kicks off the process by making some opening statements. He begins by welcoming the parties to the mediation, introducing himself and letting the parties introduce themselves. He/she explains the mediation process, which will involve an explanation of the different stages of the process. He establishes his impartiality, explains his role as a mediator and the confidentiality of the process.  It is at this early stage that he lays the ground rules to the parties. Such rules may be set in agreement with the parties. They may include but are not limited to:

  • The order of discussion/ statement
  • There should not be any interruptions when a party is speaking
  • Language is to be civil
  • Phones should be switched off during the process

8.2. Presentation by the Parties

After the opening statement, the mediator will request the parties to speak. It is usual that the party that initiated the process, who is normally seen as the complainant, makes the first statement, which should be a concise straight to the point statement of the facts. He or she describes the issues involved, the positions taken and the solutions/proposals for resolving the dispute. The other party repeats this process. Throughout the presentation of the facts, the mediator listens actively by acknowledging, validating, summarizing, questioning, confirming and mirroring what he hears from the parties.[32] While listening to the parties, the mediator establishes an agenda from which the parties can begin discussing specific issues, and goes further to question the parties in order to elicit the needs and interests behind positions taken by the parties on the issues. Various options are created and explored to attempt to meet mutually acceptable solutions.

8.3. The Caucus

Sometimes the mediator will meet separately with each party to discuss concerns they are not yet prepared to discuss in joint session. This is known as the “caucus”. This is a very vital tool for the mediator because he can use this private session to ask confidential questions and perform reality testing.

A caucus can be called by the mediator or the disputants to: move beyond an impasse; build trust; reduce tension and let people cool off; explore hidden agendas; confront the party with suspicions; seek feed back from co-mediators; generate options /alternatives; generate offers/counter offers/responses; educate the parties on the process and do some reality testing.[33]

During the caucuses, the mediator assists each party to determine both parties’ genuine interests and encourage the parties to identify settlement proposals intended to address those interests[34]. The information obtained during the caucus is not to be disclosed to the other party unless the mediator had obtained the permission of the party that he caucused with to reveal the information or proposal to the other party.

8.4. Closure

The goal of mediation is a settlement that is seen as fair and equitable by all parties concerned.[35] Sometimes the parties may reach a partial settlement. In that case, they have to refer the outstanding issues back to the Court or try other ADR methods. Sometimes the parties may fail to reach an agreement at all. This does not diminish the value of the mediation process because the parties would have gained the benefit of talking to each other, having a listening ear hear them out and as is common in mediation, they would have had the chance to ventilate. The parties may be referred to any of the other ADR processes or may decide to litigate. Whatever option is chosen, the parties would have narrowed down the facts to the actual interests and positions and are in a better position to appreciate the position and interest of the other party.

Where the parties reach an agreement, the Terms of Settlement are drafted with the help of the mediator. The agreement has to be written and specific, stating what each party is required to do or refrain from doing. The agreement should be very clear and unambiguous. Places and times should be exact where applicable.[36]  Once reduced into writing and signed by the parties, and the mediator, it is forwarded to the referral Judge in the case of Court-referred maters or to the ADR Judge for non referred matters. The parties are required to appear before the ADR Judge prior to his endorsement of the agreement or memorandum. The appearance may be at the premises of the LMDC, in open court, or at the Chambers of the ADR Judge.[37] The Judge endorses such agreement as an enforceable Consent Judgement in the High Court of Lagos State.[38]


  1. Enforcement of the Mediation Agreement

In Lagos State presently, when a dispute is mediated at the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse, and an agreement is reached by the parties, the settlement or other memoranda duly signed by the disputing parties is endorsed by an ADR Judge or any other person as may be directed by the Chief Judge of Lagos State. This becomes binding on the parties and enforceable as a contract between the parties also deemed to be enforceable under section 11 of the Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act.[39] This is regardless of the manner the dispute got to the LMDC.[40]


By section 4 (2) of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Law, 2007, any agreement reached and signed by the parties to any dispute settled at the LMDC, is filed at the LMDC and duly registered along with all the necessary attachments. After the endorsement of the agreement by the ADR Judge, it becomes as valid as a consent judgement, duly given by a High Court, and the parties cannot renege on their agreement.


Other ADR organizations can also enforce a settlement reached. Section 4 (1) (b) of the LMDC Law, allows the terms of settlement and memoranda of understanding reached by other ADR organizations to be filed at the LMDC and endorsed by the ADR Judge to become the consent judgement of the High Court of Lagos State.



Among all the ADR techniques, mediation is the most preferred for settling commercial disputes because of its nature, flexibility, timeliness, and most importantly, its ability to preserve or restore business relationships. Other factors that underscore mediation include: the need for confidentiality; the desire for resolution without the expense, uncertainty, and disruption of litigation. ADR can decrease the cost and length of dispute resolution, increase
access to justice for disempowered groups, and increase disputants’ satisfaction with outcomes.


Lawyers should adjust their stereotype approach of litigating almost every dispute and embrace ADR generally and mediation in particular as a favourable alternative to litigation. The NBA and the Judiciary have a heavy burden thrust on them to replicate the Multi-Door Courthouse in all the states of the federation and to support and promote ADR[41]. ADR and mediation in particular, have become an inevitable, essential component of modern administration of justice system all over the world and Nigeria and Africa indeed cannot afford to be left behind.


  • By Dr. Ani Comfort Chinyere LL.B (Hons.) BL; LL.M.. Ph.D. Ag. Head, Centre for Conflict and

  Dispute Resolution, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos. [email protected]



[1] Available at:

[2] Ibid.

[3] “2008 Investment Climate Statement – Nigeria” available at:  Last assessed on 10/1/2010.

[4] K. Aina, “Comparative Study of Mediation in other Jurisdictions: Mechanisms for Enforcement and

Legal Framework for Mediators”, in B. Okikolu-Ighile (Ed.), Perspectives on Citizens’ Mediation,

(LAGOS State MOJ, 2000), p. 41.

[5] J. R. Sternlight, “Is Alternative dispute Resolution Consistent with the Rule of Law?

Lessons from Abroad”, Depaul Law Review, 2007,Vol. 56:569, p. 587.

[6] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Promulgation Act, 1999, Cap. C 23 Laws o f the

  Federation of Nigeria,2004.

[7] Section 6 (3) (a), 1999 Constitution.

[8] See section 6 (6), ibid.

[9] Cap I  24 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004

[10] T. Austen-Peters, “Dispute Resolution in the Nigerian Capital Market”, in T. A. Osipitan (Ed.),

Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues: Essays in Honour of Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, 2006, p.  73

[11] B. O. Owasanoye, “Case Flow Management Procedure” A Paper presented at the Nigerian Institute of

Advanced Legal Studies Advanced Course in Practice and Procedure, 15th June, 2009, p. 1.

[12] See Order 25 (1), of the Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules, 2004.

[13] K .J. Gumbiner, “Alternative Dispute Resolution: There is a Better Way”, 1995 Available at: Last assessed on 12/1/2010

[14] “ J. A. Sokefun, “Dynamics of Customary Arbitration in Nigeria”, in T. A. Osipitan (Ed.), op. cit. note 10. pp.


[15] For more on African Traditional approach of dispute resolution, see C. C. Ani, “Extending the Frontiers of

Remedies for Crime Victims in Nigeria”, in (2009) 1 NJI Law Journal, pp. 108-109. See also O. Agbede,

Modalities for Financial Compensation for the Victims of Crimes” in S. Adetiba (Ed.), Compensation and

    Remedies for Victims of Crime, (Lagos: Federal Ministry of Justice, 1990)  p. 23

[16] Last assessed on 13/1/2010.


[17] D. Peters “ The Multi-Door Court House Concept” A paper presented at the Nigerian Institute of

Advanced Legal Studies Advanced Course in Practice and Procedure, 2006, p. 6.

[18] J. Macforlane, “An Alternative to What?” in Macforlane (Ed.), Rethinking Disputes: The Mediation

    Alternative, p. 4.

[19] K. Aina, “Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Practice and Procedure” A paper presented at the Nigerian

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Course in Practice and Procedure, June, 2008, p. 6.

[20] T. Ekiyor, “Dispute Resolution and the Settlement of Small Claims”, in B. Okikiolu Ighile (Ed.)

Perspectives on Citizens’ Rights, op. cit., note 4, p. 30.

[21] See The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Brochure, p. 5.

[22] Halsbury’s Laws of England, 3rd ed., Vol 2.

[23] Cap. A. 18 Laws of the Fedration of Nigeria, 2004.

[24] See the Lagos Arbitration Law, 2009.

[25] See generally, O. D. Amucheazi, “Settlement of Investment Disputes Under the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)”, in C.S. Mommoh, U. Jack-Osimiri, & I. A. Umezulike (Eds.), Law, Democracy and its Dividends (Enugu: Snapp Press, 2004),  pp. 155-189.

[26] K. Aina, “Med-Arb: A Valuable Settlement Strategy”, in T. A. Osipitan (Ed.), Perspectives on

    Contemporary Legal Issues, op. cit. note 10, p. 17.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Expanding Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution  (ADR) in Nigeria, Design Report, p. 2

[29] Section 20 of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Law,2007.

[30]Available at: Last assessed on 12/1/2010.

[31] Expanding Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution  (ADR) in Nigeria, Design Report, Operational 

     Manual p. 11.

[32] See E. Uwazie and D. Yamshon, A Resource Manual for: A Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution  

  (ADR) pp. 39-43.

[33] Ibid., pp. 39-40.

[34] K. Aina, “Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Practice and Procedure” op. cit., note 19, p. 15.

[35] E. J. Asuzu, “Mediator Training: Curriculum and Timetable”, in B. Okikiolu Ighile (Ed.) Perspectives on

    Citizens’ Rights, op. cit., note 4, p. 23.

[36]E. Uwazie and D. Yamshon, A Resource Manual for: A Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution

p 32.

[37] Section 4 (3) of the LMDC Law, op. cit., note 29.

[38] See The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Brochure, p. 9.

[39] Sections 4 (1) (b) and section 19, ibid.

[40] Actions may be commenced at the LMDC by walk-in, court referrals, and direct interventions by the LMDC.

[41] The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, formed its Multi-Door Courthouse, (AMDC) in October 2003. Kano State opened its Kano Multi-Door Courthouse (KMDC) on January 2009.Other States in Nigeria are at different stages of establishing their MDCs. These States are: Kwara, Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Kaduna States.

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