SETTLING COMMERCIAL DISPUTES IN NIGERIA

Whether written or oral; express or implied, no matter how seemingly perfect a contract is, disputes often occur and it is expected that parties agree on dispute resolution mode alongside other terms on the verge of commencing such commercial transaction.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

5/24/2022 2 min read

SETTLING COMMERCIAL DISPUTES IN NIGERIA

For every commercial transaction, there has to be binding terms of contract the parties agreed on. These terms are often written or oral; express or implied. While it is greatly advised that parties’ terms of contract be written and express, some other persons still go with it being oral and implied especially when it has to do with a meagre amount of money.

Whether written or oral; express or implied, no matter how seemingly perfect a contract is, disputes often occur. It can be a party trying to take advantage of a subtle lacuna, an unanticipated change, a situation of natural cause as is the case of the current COVID-19 pandemic amongst other occurrences. It can be that one party is not forthcoming regarding the agreement signed, at the detriment of the other.

Disputes happen and it is expected that parties agree on dispute resolution mode alongside other terms on the verge of commencing such commercial transaction. It is worth stating that terms should not only be clear but also be well-encompassing, more reasons why legal specialist should be consulted. Generally, different countries have different modes of settling disputes. While those modes might be similar, there are always subtle differences. After all, nothing similar is the same. To this end, Nigeria will be the focus of this piece.

Commercial disputes in Nigeria are settled via litigation and alternative disputes resolution mode. The methods used in ADR are negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, facilitation, mini trials expert appraisal, summary jury trials, mediation-arbitration inter-alia.

Litigation is a process of carrying on a lawsuit. It also means a lawsuit itself. Civil litigation therefore means the process of enforcing, redressing or protecting a. private right and obtaining appropriated remedies. Actions of processes in Nigeria are to be commenced in the jurisdictions in which the contracts ought to be performed or in which the defendants reside or carry on business. Foreign parties may, therefore, be sued in Nigerian courts in cases involving contracts where the contracts are to be performed in Nigeria.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as the name connotes, is an alternate means of resolving disputes as opposed to the traditional routine of going to Court for the sole purpose of settling disputes. Dr. Orojo defined “Alternative Dispute Resolution” as the method and procedures used in resolving dispute either as alternatives to traditional dispute resolution mechanism of the court or some cases supplementary to such mechanism". In essence, the system reduces hostility and antagonism; but most importantly, ADR saves business relationships and encourages a continued cordiality between the parties. These are made largely possible because the procedure provides greater room for compromise than litigation.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080