By Chinyere Omeire
Lagos – Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, said that a 30-year-old court case between two brothers was settled through mediation during December settlement week of Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oke disclosed this at the 2018 LMDC Neutrals Dinner held at Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Tuesday evening.
NAN reports that Lagos Settlement Week (LSW) is set aside by the state Chief Judge when disputants have opportunity to have their cases resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at no cost.
ADR, as used in law, is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement.
The chief judge, during her speech at the neutrals (mediators) dinner, applauded the effects of LSW programme on the court dockets of Lagos State Judiciary.
“I applaud LMDC for the lives and families you save through the cases settled.
“I was informed of the December LSW programme, a 30-year-old court case was settled. This is the excellence we seek,” Oke said.
The chief judge also said although statistics vary, between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of cases referred to ADR were successfully resolved.
In her opening remark, the Acting Chairman of LMDC, Justice J. E. Oyefeso, said that Lagos judiciary was working hard to reposition LMDC to achieve greater results in 2019.
She said that ADR has helped to restore relationships between parties, adding that it has reduced dockets of cases in the courts.
Mrs Adeyinka Aroyewun, Director, Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse, said that LMDC would introduce a whole new innovation in 2019 to improve outcome of mediation cases in the state.
She said that LMDC would organise more training for mediators to ensure specialisation among mediators so that mediators would only mediate on cases they specialised in.
She also said that efforts would be made to minimise factors responsible in low settlement of cases in mediation by introducing continuos assessment and evaluation of mediators.
“We will henceforth appoint mediators to handle cases in their areas of specialty.
“Age, tribe, religion and experience of every mediator will be taken into recognizance before a mediator will be appointed.
“Also, number of cases in the dockets of a mediator will be considered before such mediator will be giving more case to handle,” Aroyewun said.