Muslim Lawyers Advocates for Nigeria to Embrace Arbitration for Economic Development

In order to ensure rapid economic development, the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has advocated for the establishment of an arbitration-friendly environment in Nigeria.

Mr. Olatunde Busari, the immediate past Chairman of MULAN made this call during the 15th Annual General Conference of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria held in Ibadan.

He emphasized the significance of fostering a conducive atmosphere for arbitration in Nigeria, highlighting its potential to bolster national progress.

“Arbitration can thrive in Nigeria if it is practiced the way it should be. You will find out that the same delay techniques that lawyers use in traditional courts are being brought into arbitration. That is what we are fighting against, ensuring that many lawyers and judges are trained in arbitration procedures. If a matter that should not be in court comes to court, the judge should refer it to arbitration,” Busari stated.

He further addressed the challenge of arbitration being perceived as a precursor to litigation, stating, “The bigger issue arises when you obtain your final award. Arbitration is now perceived as a precursor to litigation, undermining its time and cost effectiveness. As many lawyers as possible should be trained in arbitration. When an award is obtained, if anybody wants to initiate court action against it, they should know when to decline. If Nigeria becomes arbitration-friendly, more investment will flow in because investors will trust that the judicial system supports arbitration. This will lead to increased use of arbitration as an alternative to litigation, fostering trade and commerce.”

In his remarks, the Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who was represented by a former Attorney-General in Oyo State, Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo (SAN), added, “It is imperative for Nigeria to embrace arbitration. By prioritizing arbitration and ensuring proper training for legal professionals, we can enhance our legal system and provide a more efficient mechanism for resolving disputes.”

Earlier in his welcome address, MULAN National President, Dr. Kazeem Olajide Olaniyan, echoed Busari’s submission, saying, “the integration of arbitration into our legal framework is essential for the advancement of our nation. By embracing arbitration, we can expedite dispute resolution processes and create a more conducive environment for the National development”

Present at the event were notable professionals, including, The President Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo state, Hon. Justice Tajudeen Ganiyu, The Chairman of the event, Professor Wahab Egbewole, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, The Chairman, Conference Planning Committee, Musibau Adetunbi, SAN, former Minister of Communication, Barrister Adebayo Shittu and others.

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