The parties to this appeal were parties to a Shareholders Agreement which contained an arbitration clause. A dispute arose and the 1st respondent commenced an action at the High Court of Lagos State seeking declaratory reliefs against the appellant and the other respondents. While that suit was pending, the 1st respondent issued a notice of arbitration alleging breach of the Shareholders Agreement.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Shareholders Agreement, the 1st respondent wrote to the then Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (Ukeje, CJ) to appoint the arbitral tribunal, but Ukeje, CJ declined to make the appointment. The 1st respondent re-applied to Mustapha, CJ - who had replaced Ukeje, CJ and Mustapha, C.J., granted the request and appointed a three-man arbitral tribunal comprising Justice Sanyaolu (retired), Professor Fidelis Odita, SAN and Mr. Stephen Bates.