The Ogun State Judiciary has concluded plans for neutrals drawn from different sectors of the State to mediate on civil cases at the Multi-Door Court House (MDC) and discourage influx of court with cases in the State.
The State Chief Judge, Justice Olatokunbo Olopade made this known at the opening of a 4-day training programme, held in Abeokuta for the Neutrals, she said that justice delivery through the Ogun Multi-Door Courthouse (OMDC) would be quicker, cheaper and less stressful, adding that it would promote and sustain good relationship between disputing parties.
“This training is a build-up on the actualisation of one of the Seven (7) point agenda of my administration which is dispensation of justice without delay. The essence of this training is to equip us for the task ahead and aimed at getting us familiar with the nitty-gritty of court related ADR system’’, she said.
The Registrar, Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) Mr. Segun Ogunyanwo, while addressing participants at the end of the training, said the rationale behind the training was mainly to broaden the horizon on the panel of neutrals on the workings of the Multi-Door Courthouse (MDC) so as to achieve effective conflict resolution among parties.
He added that the panel of neutrals comprised of representatives drawn from different sectors such as the Leagues of Imams, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Community Leaders, Ogun State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCIMA), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ministry of Justice amongst others, are to serve as mediators that would settle crisis amicably between two warring parties.
Ogunyanwo therefore charged the panel of neutrals to live up to expectation by discharging their duties as expected, urging them to put into use all knowledge gained during the training programme.
In his submission, the immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ogun State Branch, Mr Patrick Iwu, said the OMDC would help reduce backlog of trials in courtrooms across the State, foster cordial relationship and promote peaceful co-existence among warring parties.
Also speaking at the event, representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Timothy Ajibola and the League of Imam, Imam Musa Olomu, stated that the training has increased their knowledge on the use of ADR mechanisms in resolving conflicts among their members, adding that ADR would go a long way in resolving and preventing conflicts.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Judiciary has embarked upon a sensitization campaign of members of the public on the importance of Multi-door courthouse and the need to take advantage of the dispute resolution mechanism towards resolving civil cases amicably to reduce litigations.
The Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Olatokunbo Olopade disclosed this while addressing stakeholders in the High Court of Justice, Abeokuta during a sensitisation programme on the Multi-door Courthouse initiative with a view to facilitating quick dispensation of Justice.
Justice Olopade stated that the introduction of the Multi-door courthouse project in the State, which is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism would help reduce the backlog of court cases, ensure peaceful coexistence and promote harmonious relationship among disputing parties without resulting into litigation.
Explaining the Modus Operandi of the new system, Justice Olopade affirmed that the initiative would afford disputing parties the opportunity of being in control and settlement of their disputes with or without a Lawyer in the presence of a certified Neutral.
State President, National Council for Women Society, Alhaja Morufa Adenike thanked the Ogun State Chief Judge for the sensitisation programme, advising the judiciary to consider age in the composition of the Panel of Neutrals in the State.