Institute to free development business of protracted litigation, disputes

By Adebisi Onanuga

The President and Chairman of Council, Institute of Construction Industry Arbitrators (ICIArb), Kola Awodein (SAN) has mentioned the institute is poised to stem protracted litigation and uncertainties inherent in construction-related disputes.

Awodein mentioned ICIArb would do that by modern and tailored dispute decision methods.

He mentioned it was crucial for legal professionals concerned in arbitration within the development business to make sure that “the model displays the professionalism and repair that has been our legacy for almost three many years.

“Let me seize this opportunity as the outgoing President of this dynamic institute to state very clearly and firmly that it is imperative for all existing Fellows and Members to know that ICIArb is built on and has endeavoured to maintain a firm principle of integrity and professional ethics,” Awodein mentioned.

He spoke on the Investiture ceremony of Fellows and Induction of recent members held at Westwood Hotel, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.

Those inducted as Fellows of the Institute embrace Prof. Andrew Chukwuemerie (SAN), Mrs Roseline Nwosu, Mrs Yinks Kolade, Dr Ifeoma Nwafor, Ayodele Akintunde (SAN), Prof. Offornze Amucheazi (SAN) Uchenna Orakwue, Kembi Gabriel, Robinson Omomia and Pachal Madu.

The new members embrace Joseph Kikiowo, Kenneth Onyema, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Orojinmi Niran and Olayinka Davies.

Awodein, who was represented by the President elect of the institute, Felix Okereke-Onyeri additional said: “Every member irrespective of status, is mandated and has a duty to adhere to high standard of professional ethics as laid down in the Institute’s Code of Conduct and Ethics as well as by various professional bodies that each member belongs to especially in the conduct of arbitration disputes.”

He urged legal professionals concerned in arbitration within the development business to be diligent as sanctions will henceforth be meted out to erring ones by the Institute of Construction Industry Arbitrators.

Awodein whereas handing down the brand new order additionally said that other than disciplining erring members, the institute can even report such erring member to all skilled and statutory our bodies that may self-discipline them.

He expressed dismay on the fee at which nominated and appointed arbitrators compromise and undermine the integrity of arbitral course of within the conduct of arbitration usually within the nation saying, ” it has turn out to be disturbing and worrisome to state the least.”

He mentioned in lots of circumstances, such arbitrators, understanding that relationships they’ve with both counsel or the events are corresponding to to disqualify them from accepting nominations or appointments as their independence known as into query, nonetheless unethically refuse or decline to reveal such relationship or to recuse themselves.

To buttress his place, he cited a case determined on the Lagos High Court, quantity LD/1910/2017 involving Global Gas and Refinery Limited Vs Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) which judgment was delivered February 25, 2020.

He mentioned the trial choose put aside an arbitral award on the bottom of misconduct by the chairman of the arbitral panel as a result of it was grounded in bias.

“This was apparently established by proof in that case that there was such disqualifying relationship between the President of the arbitral panel and one of many events in addition to between the counsel to one of many events and a few members of the arbitral panel.

“The judgment infers that the least professionalism and ethics required of the said President was to disclose the relationship to the other party and recuse himself in the event that the other party objects to his appointment”, he mentioned.

Secretary of the Institute, Emmanuel Dike, in his deal with careworn the necessity for steady skilled growth for fellows and members of the institute.

Dike inspired them to attend programs by different skilled our bodies that will improve their expertise and competence corresponding to these of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Institute of Architects, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors amongst others.

He mentioned: “Construction entails immense multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary exercise, ruled by layers of simultaneous contractual relationships. An understanding of the technical rules for the aim of dispute decision gives an edge to the skilled geared up whit the related ability set.

“Admission to this prestigious body is therefore an opportunity to join the league of successful sought after arbitrators”, he mentioned.

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