Scope of Matters Settled Under ADR: Episode three (3) of EVA.




In this third episode of Expert Views on ADR (EVA) Podcast, I and Mr John Osegi who is a Mediator at the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) and a practising lawyer in Nigeria, critically analysed the type of matters that are amenable to ADR; with the hope of enlightening potential users and litigants on the type of matters that can be sent to ADR. Hitherto we discovered that some matters are best handled under Mediation, which is part of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).




Summary of Matters that can be settled under ADR:

They include Family Disputes, Commercial Disputes, Probate and Administrative Estates, Maritime Disputes, Auxillary Matters in particular Custody, Small Claims, Landlord and Tenant Disputes. To reiterate some of the aforementioned disputes are best settled via Mediation.

It is apt to point out that small claim matters involve a small amount of money for instance in Lagos State there is a law that fixes small claims to the amount of 5million naira (equivalent to 9,958 pounds 68 pence) and below. In order words, a million is a small claim matter but anything above 5million would be referred to or would go to the magistrate courts. Small claims can easily be amenable to mediation and ADR.


Disputes not covered under ADR:

They consist of the following: Election Petition and Divorce.

Election Disputes:  It is essential to point out that elections disputes are not yet being covered under ADR but theoretically it can. Essentially in Nigeria where we play the zero-sum game of politics-the winner takes all. In certain instances, they could be some form of power-sharing although that perspective may not be too soon in coming because of the way Nigeria politics is arranged.  But then on a higher level particularly when it has to do with countries that are severely under some form of widespread confusion and violence. For instance, what happened in Kenya where Kofi Annan had to lead a mediation team to resolve a dispute at a particular level. Mediation can actually help to create an enabling environment for political disputes to be resolved.

Divorce: On the contrary, ADR cannot pronounce a decree nisi and a decree absolute.


Probate and  Administrative EstatesConversely, Mediation can not give the letter of administration that is the job of the court, mediation cannot admit the will etc.


Feedback / Comments from this Episode:

Very incisive Chinwe, this episode opens new frontiers in ADR.- Ikechukwu Onuoma

This podcast is really getting more interesting. I must commend the efforts of Chinwe Umegbolu Esq. for taking time out to do these very special sessions that have been extremely expository. The simplicity of her approach makes it easier for the potential users to know, understand, appreciate and have more confidence in the ADR process. I’m particularly convinced that this great hard-work channelled in the right direction. Kudos to you- Stephen Adikaibe

This episode captures the fulcrum of ADR. Permit me to name it the doctrine of severance. When you severe the substance from the riffraff, you enjoy the cascading beauty of ADR. Often times behind the lack of will and passion for ADR lies the inability to severe ADR matter from others. When people can actually draw the tiny line between litigation and ADR matters, they would naturally embrace ADR without much persuasions because the benefits are priceless. Putting it categorically, ADR is always a win-win situation. Nothing compares with that. .. but first, you must be able to know matters that are ADR in nature! Kenneth C. Joshua

A big advocate of ADR you are, you practically devote yourself to regular people like me to know about ADR and knowing how and when to use ADR ( mediation ). We thank you for your dedication in informing us on ADR, May God continue to give you the strength to carry on. Hurbert Laplante

It’s very interesting. This episode has raised some fundamental issues that would enlighten people more on the matters that are best handled at ADR. Thanks, Chinwe. Great job. Atuluku Abdul



This episode was able to identify matters that can be settled under ADR and those matters that cannot be settled under ADR. I hope the aforementioned discourse will propel or inspire potential users and litigants to try out ADR or Court-Connected ADR.

In sum, the above feedback/ comments demonstrate that there is a buy-in into the ADR process -which is the aim of the podcast.  To hear the full version of this episode, click here.

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