Edo State Judiciary has organized her first ever settlement week tagged “Settlement Week: An Effective Tool in Justice Delivery.”
Declaring the week-long event open, the Chief Judge, Edo State, Hon. Justice Esther Edigin, lauded the innovation of Settlement week which according to her is indeed an effective tool in Justice Delivery as it is a mechanism for achieving the Judiciary’s drive of bringing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to the door steps of all Citizens of Edo State. Reiterating that the Settlement Week is a tried and tested means by which a huge bulk of cases could be speedily resolved to clear up the backlog of cases in the court dockets, Hon. Justice Edigin maintained that the event marks the beginning of even greater things to come for Edo State Judiciary as the Settlement Week is not a one-off event, but a recurring one which would be organized from time to time during each legal year.
In his remarks, Chairman, Settlement Week Committee, Hon. Justice E. O. Ahamioje said ADR is now ubiquitously acknowledged alternative to litigation in several countries all over the world, and is gradually gaining a strong foot in Nigeria.
He further made known that the primary goal of a settlement week is to commit to a set period of time, usually a week or more, to apply the ADR process to ongoing litigation regardless of the stage of the case.
Hon. Justice Ahamioje also said this first ever settlement week is sponsored by the Edo State Judiciary. This means that, once placed on the track for settlement week, the entire process of a case is cost free, serving as an incentive to parties to achieve a resolution of their disputes.
Earlier, while welcoming all to the maiden edition of the Edo State Settlement Week, organized by the Edo State Judiciary through the Multi-Door Court House, the Director, Edo State Multi-Door Court House, Mrs. Taiye Omoruyi made known that the Multi-Door Court House creates an avenue to combat the challenges associated with the Justice delivery system minimizing delays through the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in order to achieve more amenable outcome to parties.
Hence, the week has been set aside by the Honourable Chief Judge of Edo State for courts to clear the backlog of cases through referrals to the Multi-Door Court House for possible resolution through the ADR Processes.
According to the Multi-Door Court House Director, cases expected to come up at the settlement week includes: Land Matters, Matrimonial cases, Accident Claims, Banking, Energy, Contracts, Landlord & Tenancy. Others are Insurance, Employment and Labour related disputes, Recovery of debts, sports and so many others.
Mrs. Omoruyi further said that Settlement Week essentially helps to ensure that matters which remain in the court’s docket receives more attention. It also reduces the chance that people would take the law into their own hands out of frustration that may occur due to a prolonged litigation process.
Highlights of the event was the unveiling of the Settlement Week Practice Direction by the State’s Chief Judge.
Nwine, Nekpen Maureen
Senior Information Officer
Edo State Judiciary