DELTA ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND OVER 50 STAFF OF DELTA MINISTRY OF JUSTICE INDUCTED AS FELLOW AND CHARTERED MEDIATORS

Thu Dec 8 2016

THE INDUCTION OF THE HONOURABLE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE, MR. PETER MRAKPOR AS A FELLOW OF THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED MEDIATORS AND CONCILIATORS IS A PLUS TO THE DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN FOR THE USE OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM IN RESOLVING COMMON DISPUTES BETWEEN OIL COMPANY AND HOST COMMUNITIES, LANDLORD AND TENANT, HUSBAND AND WIFE, EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE, BOUNDARY DISPUTE, ENFORCEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AMONGST OTHERS.

HIS INDUCTION AS A FELLOW ON TUESDAY, 29 NOVEMBER, 2016 THE HIGHEST AWARD OF PRACTICE OF THE INSTITUTE DID NOT COME AS A SURPRISE TO STAKEHOLDERS AS THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE UNDER HIS WATCH HAS USED THE ADR INSTRUMENTS THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF PEOPLE’S RIGHTS SET UP VIDE AN EXCO CONCLUSION E.C. (2000) 22 TO RESOLVE SEVERAL CASES LEADING TO SIGNING OF MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING/GLOBAL MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN HITHERTO DISPUTING PARTIES. THE USE OF ADR IN THE STATE AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A MULTI-DOOR COURT HOUSE THROUGH THE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE LAW IS AIMED AT FACILITATING JUST, PEACEFUL AND SPEEDY RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES THAT WILL PROMOTE SOCIAL HARMONY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE STATE.

THE GOVERNMENT WITH THE AIM TO PROMOTE ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THE STATE; QUICKEN THE DISPENSATION OF JUSTICE AND PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE MECHANISM FOR THE AMICABLE RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES, PARTICULARLY OF THE COMMERCIAL VARIANT, ENACTED THE DELTA STATE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE LAW, 2012. THE AVAILABILITY OF AN ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) MECHANISM SYSTEM IN A STATE IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR TO BE CONSIDERD WHEN RATING STATES ON THE INDEX OF EASE OF DOING BUSINESS. THE ENACTMENT OF THE LAW IS PART OF THE AGGRESSIVE POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES OF GOVERNMENT THAT WILL TRANSFORM THE STATE’S ECONOMY THROUGH LOCAL AND DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT. ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND SPEEDY RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES WILL CERTAINLY ENSURE ECONOMIC GROWTH WITHIN THE STATE.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE PROVIDES A FORUM WHERE DISPUTES CAN BE SPEEDILY RESOLVED USING ADR MECHANISM OF MEDIATION, ARBITRATION, NEGOTIATION, CONCILIATION, MED-ARB, EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION AND A HOST OF OTHERS. THE ADVANTAGES OF MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE INCLUDE SPEEDY RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES, CONFIDENTIALITY, COST FRIENDLY AS IT COSTS AVERAGELY THE SUM OF N10,000 TO INITIATE AND COMPLETE RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES THROUGH MEDIATION, FLEXIBILITY OF THE PROCESS AND EFFECTIVE CASE MANAGEMENT.

OTHER ADVANTAGES ARE REDUCTION OF THE CASE LOAD FOR JUDGES AND EASIER JUSTICE FOR ALL, EASIER ENFORCEABILITY OF DECISIONS, ABSENCE OF INTERLOCUTORY APPEALS, PROMOTION OF CO-EXISTENCE AND HARMONY BETWEEN COMMUNITIES AND INVESTING COMPANIES, CREATES A WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR ALL PARTIES UNLIKE LITIGATIONS WHERE THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL, MAINTENANCE OF ONGOING COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIP POST SETTLEMENT AND EQUAL ACCESSIBILITY TO ALL IRRESPECTIVE OF STATUS AMONGST OTHERS.

 TO COMPLEMENT THE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE AND PROMOTE ADR PRACTICE IN THE STATE IN THE AMICABLE RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES, THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE SECURED HIS EXCELLENCY’S APPROVAL TO ESTABLISH MEDIATION CENTRES IN THE TWENTY-FIVE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF THE STATE TO BE MANAGED BY THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE. TO BUILD THE REQUISITE AND PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY TO MANAGE THE MEDIATION CENTERS OF THE MINISTRY AND TRULY MAKE THEM EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT AND PROFESSIONAL, THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE SPONSORED OVER 50 STAFF OF THE MINISTRY FOR THE SKILLS ACCREDITATION TRAINING COURSE OF THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED MEDIATORS AND CONCILIATORS WHICH QUALIFIES THEM AS CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MEDIATORS. THE OVER 50 STAFF OF THE MINISTRY WERE INDUCTED ALONGSIDE OTHER 300 NIGERIANS AT THE 2016 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING/INDUCTION CEREMONY OF THE INSTITUTE HELD AT ORCHID HOTEL, ASABA ON TUESDAY, THE 29TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2016.

THE CEREMONY WHICH WAS ATTENDED BY NOTABLE NIGERIANS HAD IN ATTENDANCE THE DELTA STATE GOVERNOR, SENATOR. DR. IFEANYI OKOWA WHO WAS REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY TO THE DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT, HON. FESTUS OVIE AGAS, HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, KING ALFRED DIETE-SPIFF, THE AMAYANABO OF TWON BRASS AND FORMER MILITARY GOVERNOR OF OLD RIVERS STATE, JUDGES FROM WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE STATE, THE MEMBER REPRESENTING OSHIMILI/ANIOCHA FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HONOURABLE EVANG. MRS. JOAN ONYEMACHI MRAKPOR, SOME MEMBERS OF THE STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, AND INDUCTEES FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THE IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE INSTITUTE, DR. LOUIS BROWN OGBEIFUN IN HIS ADDRESS OF WELCOME STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF ADR TO PEACE AND NATION BUILDING AND CHARGED THE NEWLY INDUCTED MEDIATORS TO DEPLOY THEIR LISTENING SKILLS, PATIENCE, RESOURCEFULNESS AND ABILITY TO MAKE DISPUTANTS TO SEE EACH OTHER’S PERSPECTIVE INTO USE.

DR. BROWN COMMENDED THE DELTA STATE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE FOR PARTNERING WITH ICMC TO HOST THE 2016 WORLD PEACE DAY IN ASABA AND FOR ITS TRANSFORMATION FOR BECOMING A REFORMATIONAL INSTITUTION IN EFFECTIVE JUSTICE DELIVERY THROUGH THE USE OF ADR MECHANISMS, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION. HE STATED THAT “IN 2016 ALONE, THE DELTA STATE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE SPONSORED OVER 50 OF ITS OFFICERS TO BE TRAINED, ACCREDITED AND CERTIFIED TO PRACTICE MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION. THIS IS EXCEPTIONAL”

HE SAID THAT WITHIN THE YEAR UNDER REVIEW, THE DELTA STATE JUDICIARY SPONSORED 10 SERVING HIGH COURT JUDGES, 1 REVENUE COURT JUDGE AND 1 CHIEF MAGISTRATE FOR THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED MEDIATORS AND CONCILIATORS SKILLS ACCREDITATION AND CERTIFICATION TRAINING PROGRAMME.

AMONG ALL THE GREAT PROFESSIONALS FROM DIFFERENT STATES IN NIGERIA THAT WERE  HONOURED IN THIS YEAR’S INDUCTION, SOME GREAT MINDS FROM DELTA STATE AMONGST THE RECIPIENTS OF THE HIGHEST PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION “THE FELLOWSHIP AWARD”. AMONG THEM ARE TWO HIGH COURT JUDGES, HONOURABLE JUSTICE ROLI HARRIMAN AND HONOURABLE JUSTICE NDUKA OBI AND THE STATE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE, PETER MRAKPOR ESQ. IT IS WORTHY OF MENTION THAT THEY ALL ATTENDED THE ACCREDITATION AND CERTIFICATION TRAINING PROGRAMME”

 “TO OUR NEWLY INDUCTED MEDIATORS, I SAY TO YOU AS HOPE CARRIERS AND STRESS PACIFIERS THAT FACILITATE A VOLUNTARY PROCESS, WHICH TAKES DISPUTANTS THROUGH AN EXPLORATORY JOURNEY OF EMOTIONS, I ENJOIN YOU TO SEE HOPE IN HORIZON. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF ON OVERDRIVE JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT DISPUTANTS TO SETTLE THEIR DIFFERENCE. REMEMBER, YOU ARE BUT THE PROCESS MANAGER AND NOT THE PROCESS OWNER. THE PARTIES IN DISPUTE ARE THE PROCESS OWNERS AND THE ONUS TO SETTLE IS AT THEIR OWN ACCORD, WILLINGNESS AND SPEED” DR. LOUIS BROWN OGBEIFUN COUNSELED THE INDUCTEES.

ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SOME MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSES ESTABLISHED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE INSTITUTE, DR. LOUIS BROWN OGBEIFUN SAID DELTA STATE AND OGUN MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSES CAME ON STREAM WITHIN ONE YEAR APART, ADDING THAT IN LESS THAN ONE YEAR IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DELTA STATE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE, 97 CASES INCLUDING WALK-INS WERE REFERRED TO IT FOR SETTLEMENT OUT OF WHICH IT WAS ABLE TO RESOLVE 60, 27 STILL PENDING WHILE 10 CASES WENT BACK TO COURT.

“DESPITE THE DOWNTURN OF OUR ECONOMY FINANCIAL SCARCITY, WE SUCCEEDED IN TRAINING OVER 450 NEW MEMBERS THIS YEAR. IN LESS THAN ONE YEAR OF THE CREATION OF THE DELTA STATE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE, 97 CASES INCLUDING WALK-INS WERE REFERRED TO THE DSMDC. OUT OF THESE, 60 GOT RESOLVED, 10 WENT BACK TO COURT, 27 ARE STILL PENDING AND WORTHY OF NOTE IS THAT ICMC AND ITS MEMBERS WERE INVOLVED IN THE RESOLVED AND PENDING CASES. I BELIEVE THESE ARE GREAT STRIDES WORTHY OF APPLAUSE. PREMISED ON THESE, I AM CONVINCED THAT WE HAVE BROKEN THE GLASS CEILING AND IN DUE COURSE SHALL BEGIN TO REAP THE HARVEST OF COURTS’ ANNEXED MEDIATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY”

ON THE THEME OF THE 2016 CONFERENCE OF THE INSTITUTE “THE ROLE OF MEDIATORS IN A PERIOD OF CHANGE AND NATIONAL RECESSION” THE IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITUTE DR. BROWN HAS THIS TO SAY “THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE WAS CAREFULLY CHOSEN IN VIEW OF THE CURRENT SITUATION IN OUR BELOVED COUNTRY. IT IS AN EVERYDAY OCCURRENCE TO SEE HOW PEOPLE RESORT TO THE USE OF SELF-HELP IN THE FORMS OF VIOLENCE, SABOTAGE AND MILITANCY. THE POSSIBLE REASONS FOR THESE COULD BE BECAUSE OF THE CIVIL POPULACE LOSS OF FAITH IN OUR PRESENT COLLECTIVE PLATFORM AND GEOGRAPHICAL EXPRESSION CALLED NIGERIA. THANKFULLY, THE FIGHT AGAINST THE TERRORISM IN THE NORTH EAST HAS YIELDED SOME POSITIVE RESULTS IN THE RELEASE OF SOME OF THE ABDUCTED CHIBOK GIRLS. THOUGH TECHNICALLY DEGRADED, BOKO HARAM IS STILL POTENTLY SPRINGING UP SOME SURPRISES LIKE THE ONE THAT KILLED ONE OF THE FINEST MILITARY COMMANDERS LT. COL. MUHAMMED ABU-ALI AND SOME OF HIS MEN”

IN THE GOVERNOR’S KEYNOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT, HON. FESTUS OVIE AGAS, WHILE WELCOMING THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE INSTITUTE, ITS MEMBERS AND ALL GUESTS TO ASABA THE STATE CAPITAL, SAID THE HOSTING OF THE EPOCH MAKING EVENT IN DELTA STATE WAS A THING OF PRIDE TO THE PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE. THE GOVERNOR WHO EMPHASIZED THE VARIOUS MEASURES PUT IN PLACE TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF ADR PRACTICE IN THE STATE, INCLUDING VARIOUS LEGAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS, SAID THE EFFORTS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION WAS GEARED TOWARDS ENSURING THE EASE OF DOING BUSINESS IN THE STATE.

THE GOVERNOR SAID AS A GOVERNMENT THAT BELIEVES ON THE USE OF ADR, THE STATE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE WAS ESTABLISHED WHICH HAS SUCCESSFULLY MEDIATED AND RESOLVED SEVERAL CASES REFERRED TO IT.

“THE STATE GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO CREATED THE DEPARTMENT OF PEOPLE’S RIGHTS IN THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE TO SERVE AS AN ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTER. THIS DEPARTMENT IS EMPOWERED TO RESOLVE DISPUTES BETWEEN HOST COMMUNITIES AND INVESTING COMPANIES, EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE, LANDLORD AND TENANT, INDIVIDUALS AND GOVERNMENT, USING THE ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISMS. WE HAVE ALSO EMBARKED ON THE CREATION OF MEDIATION CENTERS ACROSS THE 25 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF THE STATE. THIS WILL ENSURE THAT CITIZENS OF THE STATE DO NOT HAVE TO TRAVEL TO ASABA TO ACCESS THE SERVICES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PEOPLE’S RIGHTS OR THE MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE IN ASABA”

CONTINUING THE GOVERNOR OKOWA SAID “THE STATE GOVERNMENT HAS PARTNERED WITH THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED MEDIATORS AND CONCILIATORS OF NIGERIA (ICMC) FOR THE TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION OF 51 STAFF OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE WHO ARE BEING INDUCTED TODAY AT THIS EVENT. WE INTEND TO CONTINUE THAT PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ICMC IN THE COMING YEARS”

SPEAKING TO NEWSMEN SHORTLY AFTER THE INDUCTION CEREMONY, STATE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE, MR. PETER MRAKPOR SAID THE DESIRE OF GOVERNMENT WAS TO MAKE JUSTICE DELIVERY FASTER AND CHEAPER.

WHILE RATIONALIZING THE CREATION OF 25 MEDIATION CENTERS BY THE MINISTRY ACROSS THE STATE, THE JUSTICE COMMISSIONER URGED LITIGANTS TO EXPLORE THE USE OF ADR IN RESOLVING THEIR DISPUTES.

BEFORE THE INDUCTION EVENT/DINNER PARTY WHICH WAS HELD IN ASABA FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE INSTITUTE HAD ITS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, ADR CONFERENCE AND A PRESS BRIEFING WHERE THEY INTIMATED MEMBERS OF THE FOURTH ESTATE OF THE REALM WHO COVERED THE EVENT OF THE SET OBJECTIVES OF THE INSTITUTE, THE ROLE OF ADR IN PEACE AND NATION BUILDING AS WELL AS THE THEME OF THE YEAR’S CONFERENCE.

IT IS EXPECTED THAT WITH THIS DEVELOPMENT, ADR PRACTICE WILL BE TAKEN TO AN ENVIABLE HEIGHT IN THE DAYS AHEAD IN RESOLVING SOME INTRACTABLE COMMUNAL AND OTHER DISPUTES AND ENTRENCHED PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE STATE.

 

BY IVOVI ARUORIWO DARLINGTON

PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

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