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Arbitration, like Litigation, is an adversarial contest. The parties to the arbitration proceedings establish their legal rights through a process of forensic advocacy whereby the parties actively challenge the case put forward by each other.

But, what happens where one side elects to stay away from the arbitration proceedings? Can the Arbitrator(s) validly continue with a one-sided hearing? Would the ensuring arbitral award be valid and enforceable in law against the other party who choose to stay away from the proceedings? This was the Gordian knot that the Supreme Court of Nigeria had to cut in the leading case of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation v. Adold/Stamm International Nigeria Limited (1994) 7 NWLR (Pt. 358) 545.

 

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