By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja – A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mike Ozekhome has advised lawyers to encourage Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in settling of disputes for their clients.
Ozekhome gave the advice while delivering a goodwill message at the 2017 Special Fellowship Course of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Councillors (ICMC) on Thursday in Abuja.
Ozekhome described ADR as better alternative to litigation process, saying the latter is expensive, can create separation and permanent enmity between families and societies.
“Those of you who are lawyers here don’t think engaging yourself in reconciliation arbitration, or mediation can rob you of your fees, it will rather add. It will even promote your integrity with your clients,’’ he said.
He also identified mediation and reconciliation as one of the best means to resolve the different agitations in the country including quit notices.
“There is no war that has ever been settled at the war front. The Nigeria/Biafra war was never settled at the war front. The best way to settle is ADR.
“Let us resolve today in our various communities, families and societies that we need peace, without peace there can be no development. Nigeria cannot progress if we don’t have peace,’’ said the senior legal practitioner.
The President of ICMC, Chief Emeka Obegolu, urged the fellowship cadre to use their proficiency in mediation practice to contribute to the justice system of the country.
Obegolu said that as graded practitioners, they must be seen to be versatile in handling dispute and conflict resolution through mediation, including the possible acknowledgement of or preference for any particular model of mediation practice.
“We believe this training will put you all on a course that will lead to your being seen as representing the core values and principles of mediation practice.
“By the end of this day, you should be comfortable in your appreciation of mediation as a viable and reliable choice when determining the appropriate dispute resolution mechanism by which to resolve any dispute.
“I know this because you have chosen to do this.
“You believe and you have decided to make your actions shape the values you cherish. I am certain you are destined to contribute to the positive changes our justice system urgently needs,’’ he said. (NAN)
By Emmanuel Oloniruha