Commercial Law

Nigeria’s Chartered Institute of Arbitrators hold annual conference

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria Branch will hold its Annual Conference from tomorrow, Wednesday, November 25 to Friday, November 27, 2020. In strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, this year’s event will hold virtually.

CIArb was founded in the United Kingdom in 1915, Incorporated in 1924 and granted a Royal Charter in 1979. It has a multi-disciplinary membership of over 16,000 located in over 133 countries around the world, supported by an international network of over 40 branches.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Arbitration and ADR in a Free Trade Regime: Assessing Africa’s Readiness”.

Already, 72 speakers and panellists from within and outside Nigeria, drawn from various professions and disciplines have been invited to do justice to the conference theme and other related topics.

The Two Day Annual Conference will be preceded on the 25th November 2020, with the Young Arbitrators (YMG) Conference. The main conference is broken down into sessions with a plenary session to start the day and joint session to close the conference. The conference will also feature the induction of different cadre of membership.

The plenary session, which will feature the opening formalities and the keynote speech, will hold on the 26th day of November 2020, and will be chaired by Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, C.Arb, former Attorney General of the Federation and former Trustee for Africa for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The duo of the Branch Chair Mr. Tunde Busari, SAN, C.Arb and the Conference Planning Committee Chair Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN, FCIArb will welcome special guests, delegates, and participants.

The President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Francis Xavier, SC, PBM, C. Arb, FCIArb will deliver a goodwill message whilst the keynote paper will be delivered by the Honourable Chief Justice of Rwanda, Honourable Justice Dr. Faustin Ntezilyayo. Our own Honourable Justice Amina Augie will discuss the keynote paper. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad Ph.D., GCON will declare the conference open.

Other sessions at the conference are as follows:

The session on “Promoting a Pro-enforcement culture in Africa: New measures in Arbitration and Mediation” will feature speakers such as the President of the Court of Appeal, Nigeria, Honourable Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, and international scholar and practitioner Dr. Emelia Onyema of SOAS, London. Other panellists are A.B. Mahmoud, SAN former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, and international speaker Anish Wadia.

The session on “The Singapore Convention on enforcement of mediation agreements: Matters Arising” will feature the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Honourable Justice I.U. Bello, and the President of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, Chief Emeka Obegolu FCIArb, FICMC, as speakers/panellists. Other panellists are the internationally acclaimed speakers Dr. Gaston Kenfack, Amani Khalifa, and Jane Gunn.

The session on “Free trade regimes and investor state Disputes: The Intersection between ICSID and AfCFTA” will feature as speakers/panellists the following: renowned professors of law and practitioners, Professor Paul Idornigie SAN, C.Arb, and Professor Dr. Maxi Scherer. Others are international speaker, Leyou Tameru, and Seni Adio, SAN immediate past Chairman of the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association.

The session on “Enforcing Arbitral Awards and Settlement Agreements in Africa: New paradigms and considerations” will have as panellists, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Honourable Justice John Tsoho, distinguished author and practitioner, Yemi Candide-Johnson, SAN, Chairman of the Board of LACIAC, Dr. Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN, and Ibrahim Shehata. This session will bring Day 1 of the conference to a close.

Day 2 of the conference will begin with the Session on “Parties to contract to arbitrate: The impact of neo-colonialism and shadow interests”. The panellists for this session include the internationally acclaimed Professor Patrice Lumumba, Professor Jonathan Aremu, Achille Ngwanza, and our own Chief J.K. Gadzama, SAN, C.Arb former Chairman of the Abuja Chapter of the Nigerian Branch of the Institute.

The session on “The impact of the One Belt One Road Initiative on the resolution of dispute in Africa” will feature as speakers/panellists, international scholars and practitioners Professor. Dr. Mohammed Abdelwahab, and Dr. Gordon Blanke. Other panellists are the distinguished practitioner and pioneer Chairman of the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association, George Etomi and Tony Ejinkonye, Past President of Abuja Chambers of Commerce Mines, Industry and Agriculture.

The session on “The culture of waste and underdevelopment: A challenge to a free trade regime in goods and services” will feature Mrs. Mitta Gyang, internationally acclaimed economist and writer Keith Boyfield, Otunba Dele Oye, 2nd Deputy President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, and Gerald Konwea, an expert on the AfCFTA.

The session on “Dispute resolution protocols in AfCFTA: Reviewing existing protocols and rules” will feature, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN, former Attorney General of the Federation, and currently President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry and Agriculture, and distinguished practitioners Adetola Onayemi, Diane Marcus-Okoko FCIArb and Professor Agbo Madaki as panellists.

The session on “The role of existing Arbitral institutions in Africa and their continued relevance to socio-economic development in Africa” is the last session for the day and will feature as speakers/panellists, the President, National Industrial Court, Justice B.B. Kanyip, Dr. Ismail Selim, of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Arbitration, Susan Kimani, Hon. Wilfred Danola Ikatari of the Regional Centre for International Arbitration, Lagos, and Dr. Fidele Masengo the Director of the Kigali International Arbitration Centre.

The conference promises to be intellectually stimulating and engaging and the organizers look forward to welcoming delegates and participants to the first ever virtual conference of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

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