Legal practitioners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, have asserted that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), if fully utilised, will boost justice delivery. Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, they said that ADR was a way of ensuring speedy and efficient dispensation of justice as well as promoting amicable alternative to litigation. Mrs Esther Coker said the advantages of the ADR system of settling disputes far outweighed litigation.“Embracing ADR is a step in the right direction because it is in line with global best practices.“In addition to reducing the workload in courts, it assures the international community that once there is a dispute in investment, there is a procedure for quick resolution and this will encourage foreign investors.
Also speaking, Mrs Tombra Bibiye said that ADR, in addition to giving both foreign and local investors confidence to invest, would also promote an amicable alternative to the adversarial justice system.“ADR represents an innovation which, if fully harnessed, will evolve a multi- track justice delivery system to further boost justice delivery.” She expressed optimism that if properly utilised, ADR could enhance the administration of justice and speedy resolution of disputes. Another lawyer, Mr Kayode Daniel said that as a beneficiary of ADR himself, he considered it a more expeditious approach to resolving disputes.“Except in a situation where the parties involved feel very strongly about litigation, ADR is the way to go because it can assist parties in reaching an expeditious resolution of their disputes in good faith in a fair and efficient manner.“I must also add here that in addition to being less time consuming, it is also less expensive and less onerous.”Daniel noted that when more people embraced ADR and saw the benefits particularly as it promoted peaceful resolution of disputes, it would become more attractive than litigation.
NAN reports that the Court of Appeal formally began ADR system on March 29 with an inaugural court session.The President of the court, Mrs Monica Dongban-Mensem who declared the session open, recalled that the new system was initiated in 2018 as a way of ensuring speedy and efficient dispensation of justice.She stated that the overriding objectives 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.
Among others, Justice Dongban-Mensem also stated that the new system will assist parties in reaching an expeditious resolution of their disputes in all good faith 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.”