Rationale & Relevance
In allowing the application to recognize and enforce the Arbitral Award, the Court stated that it did not find the ground of misjoinder of parties or jurisdiction of the Arbitrator to be valid grounds to refuse the enforcement of the award. Moreover, these issues ought to have been raised before the Arbitrator at the earliest stage and not in the first instance before the Court as the Respondents have done as per Sections 17(2) and (3) of the Arbitration Act.
The Court observed that since the 1st Respondent chose not to participate in arbitral proceedings despite being served with the claim and the Arbitrator duly noting that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents had not been served, determined the claim as between the Applicant and the 1st Respondent. Hence, the decision specifically addressed the 1st Respondent as opposed to all Respondents.
On the contention by the Respondents that the Arbitrator could only address issues relating to interpretation, rights, obligations and or implementation of any or more of the provisions of the lease, the Court disagreed with this guided by the opening line of clause 11 of the Lease, “all questions hereinafter” . The court opined that the phrase gives the parties and the arbitrator a wide jurisdiction to deal with disputes arising from the Lease.