Former President Goodluck Jonathan says arbitration hearings for contracts entered by the federal government with international organisations should be heard in Nigeria, not the United Kingdom.
Arbitration is an alternative to conventional litigation, mostly used for the resolution of commercial disputes.
The former president advocated the position on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, during a launch of the book titled “Arbitration and Dispute Resolution in Nigeria”.
The book is written by King Collins Daniel, the Traditional Ruler Abureni kingdom, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
What the Former President is saying
The former president advised the bodies responsible for arbitration or resolving disputes in the country to work hard to ensure arbitration for government contracts are done in the country, for proper understanding.
“All the contracts the Nigeria government entered with international organisations, arbitrations are always done in the United Kingdom. Can’t we do some of these arbitrations in Nigeria?” Jonathan asked.
“I don’t know why it must be the United Kingdom — why it must be outside Nigeria. I think we need to work hard, so that some of these things will be done here in Nigeria.”
Jonathan added that resolving some disputes outside the court room is better as the process will be short, less expensive and make people morally bound to the terms of resolution.
“As non-lawyers, we look at issues of resolving disputes in two different ways — one that takes place in the courtroom and one that takes place outside the courtroom,” the former president said.
“We think that society is so complex, going to court for judges to settle our disputes solves all our problems, because judges decide based on the facts presented to them. That is why people still get back home and start fighting — more especially, issues like land cases and chieftaincy cases.
“So, I believe solving disputes outside the courtroom will be a better and shorter way than going through court processes.”
The author of the book and Olila-Ebhugh of Abureni kingdom, King Daniel, said he used his experience as a legal practitioner, law teacher and a traditional ruler to write the book, to help the society on how to resolve issues properly and permanently.