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Ogun partners ICMC on alternative dispute resolution

Ogun State judiciary has concluded arrangements with the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC) to establish a Multi-Door Court House (OMDC) in the State.

The State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Olatokunbo Olopade who disclosed this yesterday in Abeokuta at the inauguration of the steering committee to oversee the establishment and coordination of the proposed centre, noted that unlike in the past when litigants filed their cases under a one door system procedure, they would now have option of accessing the Multi-Door Court House system, which she said would comprise Mediation, Conciliation, Arbitration, Early-Neutral Evaluation and Expert determination in resolving cases amongst warring parties .

Ogun Multi-Door Court House is a court connected mechanism which is going to be within the administrative structure of the judiciary. Up till now, we have one (1) system, that is, you go to the registry, file your case, the case represents only one door, the case is then referred to the chief judge or senior judge in the division who then assigns a lawyer, but now we are going to have Multi-Door, about five doors which are the Mediation, Conciliation, Arbitration, expert determination and early neutral evaluation in resolving cases. It is also going to serve as a referral centre” Justice Olopade emphasized.

She disclosed that one of her seven-point agenda was the establishment of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (ADR) in the state to expedite quick dispensation of justice, reduce congestion in courts and ultimately lessen the stress litigants face when filing cases.

The Chief Judge informed that the benefits of the OMDC to litigants include less frustration in pursuing their cases, the old system of content hood of procedure usually practised would give way to simplified formal procedure in the justice system where litigant would be more involved in settling their dispute, while lawyers confidence would be restored and put an end to frequent adjournment of cases in law court.

She said members of the steering committee were selected from stakeholders in different sectors of the society which includes, Ogun State Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Abeokuta, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), League of Imam, Christian Association of Nigeria, Organised Private Sector (OGUNCIMA), Egba Traditional Institution and the Nigerian Police, while the project is expected to be officially inaugurated in 90days, precisely May 2016.

In his remarks, Registrar ICMC, Mr Segun Ogunyanwo said the concept of Multi-Door is a unique one and the OMDC is going to be a multifaceted dispute resolution centre within the administrative structure of court. It is to be supported by the institute financially, while a potter cabin would be constructed outside the gate of the high court by the institute.