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A typical arbitration clause will read: “All disputes arising from this Agreement are to be referred to arbitration…” It must, however, be noted that the mere insertion of an arbitration clause in a contract does not imply that any issue is capable of being resolved by arbitration. Parties should not overlook the fact that “disputes” means exactly what it is: a legal disagreement, controversy or contest arising from the contract. Accordingly, a non-dispute albeit arising from a contract with an arbitration clause cannot be resolved by arbitration.

The above principle was laid down by the Court of Appeal in the case of United World Limited Inc v. Mobile Telecommunication Services [1998] 10 NWLR (Pt. 586) 106.

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