VETERAN Nigerian sports journalist Dr. Mumini Alao has been inducted as an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (CiArb), United Kingdom.
The induction took place on Friday, 10 November, 2023 at the Harbor Point, Victoria Island, Lagos at the year’s Gala Night of the Nigeria Branch of the CiArb.
The Gala Night was the culmination of a three-day international conference held under the theme, “Adapting to the Future: African Perspective on Arbitration and ADR.” Aside from the Nigerian members of the institute who converged in Lagos from all over the country, there were also delegates from Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Benin Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda, Egypt, Zambia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom among others.
Altogether, nine sessions were held over the three-day period during which several topical issues in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Africa were extensively discussed by very cerebral and distinguished panelists and moderators. The final session examined the recently passed Nigerian Arbitration and Mediation Act 2023 and how it would impact the practice of the profession in the country.
During the induction of new members of the institute that followed, the chairman of the Nigeria Branch, Chief Akingbola Akinola, SAN, a Chartered Arbitrator, charged the inductees to uphold the dignity and integrity of the Institute whenever they were called upon to serve. He administered the oath of membership on them and admonished them to dedicate themselves to the service of society.
Dr. Mumini Alao, former group managing director and now executive consultant at Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspapers, was one of the 35 inducted as associate members of the Institute. Fourteen others were promoted as Members while eight were elevated to the rank of Fellows of the Institute.
Reacting to his induction, Dr. Alao expressed the hope that his more than three decades of experience in sports journalism will be an advantage. He noted: “I realized that we do not have many journalists, particularly sports journalists, who are trained arbitrators in Nigeria. Yet, we regularly have conflicts in our media and sports ecosystems that can be resolved via mediation and arbitration by people who are experienced and familiar with the issues at stake in these sectors.”
He added: “Particularly in Nigerian sports, I feel that we need to develop a proper framework for dispute resolution without recourse to litigation at the regular courts which is frowned upon by international sports federations like FIFA.
“We need the domestic version of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that will handle local sports disputes with total independence, impartiality, and integrity and whose decisions will be respected by all stakeholders. I hope I can play some role in that regard.
“That’s one of my motivations for joining the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,” he concluded.
The 2024 annual conference of the Nigeria branch of the CiArb is scheduled to hold in Abuja.