Phone +234 14622307-12; 2774921-2

AddressSt Nicholas House, (10th, 12th & 13th Floors), Catholic Mission Street, Lagos, Nigeria.

Festus Onyia



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.


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


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

Professional Membership

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

Bar Admissions



We are pleased to announce that our Dispute Resolution team partner, Festus Onyia has been noted as a key partner for high value commercial arbitration and litigation in The Legal500 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 2020 edition rankings research.
The rankings report is available to view here:



Oil and Gas

We are delighted to have advised Seplat Energy Plc on this landmark transaction.

The transaction was led by partners Folake Elias-Adebowale, Yinka Edu, Adeola Sunmola and Festus Onyia working with a multi-disciplinary team of associates.

For more information about UUBO’s market leading oil and gas, mergers & acquisitions, financing, capital markets, disputes, employment and other service offerings, please email us at or visit

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