Festus Onyia is a Partner in the firm’s dispute resolution practice and specialises in civil, corporate and commercial litigation, as well as international commercial arbitration. His other practice areas include labour, employment and industrial relations, and tax litigation. He has trained as an international commercial arbitrator with several Nigerian and international arbitration institutions, including the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, where he attended the Advanced PIDA Training in International Commercial Arbitration.

Festus has acted as counsel in both ad hoc and institutional arbitrations, including under the Rules of Arbitration of the ICC. He has advised on issues of Nigerian law for determination in matters before foreign courts and arbitration tribunals. He has extensive hands-on experience in arbitration, litigation and transactions, and recently represented a client at the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in a claim for compensation and damages in excess of $700 million for alleged oil spillage and gas flaring.

In addition, he has represented several international drilling companies in tax disputes at the Tax Appeal Tribunal, Federal High Court, and Court of Appeal in respect of a dispute arising from additional tax assessments in the sum of $40 million (approximately) and involving the issue of whether recharges to their Nigerian support companies and/ or subsidiaries are allowable deductions from their turnovers for the purposes of computation of tax under the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA).

Festus is recognized by the Legal 500 for his experience with high value commercial arbitrations. He was a member of the International Task Force appointed by the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR on the Revision of the ICC Rules as Appointing Authority in UNCITRAL and other Ad Hoc Proceedings. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Nigerian Tax Law Report, and was in April 2019 appointed as the Alternate Chairman of the Energy and Power Committee of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators for a two-year term.

Festus is a thought leader in his core practice areas, with articles published in multiple issues of reputable international journals such as The European, Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review; The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review; International Financial Law Review Dispute Resolution Guide; Chambers International Arbitration Country Practice Guide; Dealmakers Africa; The Gravitas Review of Business and Property Law, and Nigerian Tax Law Review.


2017Partner, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie
2014Managing Associate, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie
2008Senior Associate, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie
2005Associate, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie
2005Associate, Ahaneku, Ekwekwuo & Partners
2003Associate, G.E. Ezeuko (SAN) & Co
2002Legal Officer, National Assembly


2002Nigerian Law School, BL
1999University of Benin, Benin City, LL.B.




Nigerian Bar Association
International Bar Association
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom

The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review (GAR)

July 14, 2022

Uzoma Azikiwe, SAN (Partner), Festus Onyia (Partner), and Michael Ugah (Associate) of the firm’s dispute resolution team, have contributed the Nigerian chapter to the 2022 edition of The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review (GAR). The publication is now live; to read it, please click here: https://globalarbitrationreview.com/review/the-middle-eastern-and-african-arbitration-review/2022/article/nigeria. The publication addresses topical issues such as whether […]

Read More

Innovations in corporate insolvency in Nigeria under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 –Insolvency Practitioners

June 23, 2022


Read More

Tax disputes in Nigeria: the tax appeal tribunal rules that the federal inland revenue service must always prove why the payment of security deposit is required from a taxpayer.

June 3, 2022

Read More

A Party Seeking To Enforce An Arbitral Award In Nigeria Does Not Need To Comply With The Pre-Action Protocol Required Under The High Court Of Lagos State

May 5, 2022

UUBO’s Dispute Resolution team is pleased to share its most recent publication authored by Uzoma Azikiwe, SAN (Partner), Festus Onyia FCIArb, UK (Partner) and Michael Ugah (Associate), which discusses the recent decision of the High Court of Lagos State where the High Court ruled that a party seeking to enforce an arbitral award under the Nigerian Arbitration and Conciliation Act […]

Read More

The Legal Basis For The Award Of Delayed Payment Or Pre-judgment Interest In Debt Recovery Claims In Nigeria

August 18, 2021

Read More

UUBO contributes to the 2018 edition of The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review

August 27, 2018

Uzoma Azikiwe (Partner) and Festus Onyia (Partner), of the firm’s dispute resolution team, have contributed the Nigerian chapter, titled ‘Arbitrability of Tax Disputes Under Nigerian Law’, to the 2018 edition of The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review (GAR). The publication is now live; to read it, click here.  

Read More

Subscribe to our Newsletter