Nigeria’s experienced Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner, Morenike Obi-Farinde has been appointed into the pioneer seven-man Tribunal of the world table tennis ruling body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
With this development, Obi-Farinde who is bringing three decades of legal practice and two decades as an ADR practitioner to the ITTF Tribunal will be the first African and Nigerian to be appointed as a member of the pioneer ITTF Tribunal.
She is a member of the Nigeria Olympic Committee’s (NOC) Ethics and Governance Commission and a legal practitioner in areas including sports law and dispute resolution.
Speaking on her new role, Obi-Farinde, who is a multi-disciplinary practitioner excelling in contentious and non-contentious matters said: “It is an opportunity to add my Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) experience and skills of about three decades in the legal profession in sports governance and administration in general and Table Tennis in particular. The newly created ITTF Integrity Unit, as well as the ITTF Tribunal, will improve the Disciplinary process and procedure within the ITTF.”
“As an inaugural member of the ITTF Tribunal and working with the other members under the direction of the Tribunal Chair, my understanding of the global approach to conflict resolution, I believe will be of immense benefit to the Federation,” she added.
The Independent Tribunal members according to ITTF have a two-year term and they are expected to play a central role in ensuring the effective provision of dispute resolution services for sports participants, support personnel, and sporting organisations internationally, forming a diverse panel of independent arbitrators, legal and subject matter experts that may be called upon on a case-by-case basis.
The Tribunal will be chaired by Jorge Ibarrola of Switzerland, while other members include Lau Kok Keng (Singapore), Sally Clark (England), Anna Smirnova (Russia), Olivier Ducrey (Switzerland) and Faisal Hasnain (Pakistan) as well as Nigeria’s Obi-Farinde.
The Tribunal was inaugurated on Monday February 8 in the presence of ITTF President Thomas Weikert; Secretary General Raul Calin; ITTF Nomination Committee Chairman Wahid Enitan Oshodi as well as ITTF Legal Counsel Dylan Mah.