Appeal Court holds inaugural sitting of mediation centre

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The Court of Appeal on Monday held the inaugural sitting of its Mediation Centre in Abuja.

The president of the court, Monica Dongban-Mensem, in her remarks at the session, recalled that the idea of the centre was initiated in 2018 to ensure speedy and efficient dispensation of justice through promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.

She said the centre would promote amicable settlement as opposed to the adversarial justice system obtained in the regular courts.

Ms Dongban-Mensem, who charged the judiciary to rise up to the challenges of adjudication in the 21st Century, said good performance of the third arm of government would improve employment opportunities and domestic economic growth.

She said that ADR system represented an innovation which, if fully utilised, would bring about a multi-track justice delivery channels at the appellate court level and would further boost the justice delivery system.

“Appellate mediation is now part of the global legal lexicon, straddling the appellate courts of countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom and Thailand,” she said.

‘Centre to enchance expeditious determination of suit’

According to her, the overriding objective of the Court of Appeal Mediation Centre is to promote mediation and other alternative dispute resolution mechanism towards enhancing the administration of justice and speedy resolution of disputes.

She said the centre would assist parties in reaching an expeditious resolution of their disputes in a fair and efficient manner.

She said, “We must not only build a structure but a mindset that will drive the process of alternative, less expensive and less onerous dispute resolution process such as mediation.

“There is also need for us to build a culture where peaceful resolution of disputes becomes more attractive than litigation”.

She appealed to the bench and bar to uphold the ideals of the centre for quick and amicable resolution of disputes.

She said this could be be achieved if all sides imbibed the highest code of ethics and global best practices in the operation of the centre

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She commended some judges of the court – Williams Daudu, Sotonye Denton-West and Philomena Ekpe – for their commitment to the success of the centre and the consultant for the project, Kehinde Aina, for making the establishment of the center a reality.

Among the appellants at the session are a businessman and politician, Ned Nwoko, who described the ADR as a right step in the right direction.

He appealed to Nigerians to imbibe the new justice dispensation system.

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