The rising profile of arbitration as a legal order is a global phenomenon that has found its way into the Nigerian legal milieu. Private contracts abound which prescribe arbitration as the preferred mode of dispute resolution. Indeed, manifold legislations also prescribe arbitration in some shape or form. The attraction of this mode of alternative dispute resolution is the private and confidential nature of the process shorn of detailed adjectival rules and legal technicalities that litigating in courts of law are known for. Where conduct in an arbitration setting is being judged in terms of strict adherence to law, as was done by the Nigerian Court of Appeal in a recent decision, it is the whole fabric of arbitration, as a legal order, that is at risk. The ultimate question, if this phenomenon is allowed to take root, is: where will legalism or legal technicalities stop and substantial justice assume its rightful place? The central thesis of this paper is that legalism is inimical to arbitration law and practice and courts should resist the temptation to treat the process on the same footing as litigation.