By Adekola Afolabi
In a bid to promote easier access to Justice in line with global trends in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu yesterday signed the Multi-door Court house bill into law.
Governor Akeredolu signed the bill into law at the EXCO Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure at a brief ceremony.
The Governor encouraged the people of the state to explore the alternative dispute resolution that the multi-door courthouse provides.
He explained that the multi-door courthouse will further boost the administration of justice in the state and allow litigants to settle matters without going through the conventional court process which, in most cases, creates enemity and takes longer time to resolve.
Governor Akeredolu disclosed that the law would assist the legal process which has become cumbersome in the country.
The Governor particularly charged the judges and other stakeholders in charge of administration of justice to always encourage litigants to make use of out-of-court settlement and explore alternative dispute resolution for the peace and progress of the society.
“Encourage people to explore alternative dispute resolution. Please, take advantage of this alternative dispute resolution. Look at ways of settling matters for them. Make the environment convivial. Don’t let them see themselves as adversaries”, he said.
Also present at the signing were the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Speaker of the House of Assembly. Bamidele Oleyelogun, represented by the deputy Speaker, Samuel Aderoboye; the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Williams Akintoroye; President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Eunice Alade; members of the State Executive Council led by the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu; and other Justices of the State Judiciary.
The Governor congratulated the outgoing Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Williams Akintoroye, on the signing of the bill into Law during his time.
He advised the judicial officers to create an enabling and peaceful environment for all litigants to see the need to amicably resolve matters without becoming enemies after the case.
“What the law is set to do is very clear; it is to assist our legal process which has become cumbersome,” the Governor added.
Earlier, while presenting the bill to the Governor for assent, the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, represented by the deputy Speaker, Samuel Aderoboye, said it would ease the tension and the burden of Judges and Lawyers as well as the State in resolving some cases outside the conventional courtroom.
He added that the law will bring about confidence and ensure cases are settled within the shortest time.
Also speaking, Justice Williams Akintoroye appreciated the Governor for signing the bill into law for the benefit of the people and the state.
“As usual Mr. Governor has done it again. How do I mean? Just some months ago, Mr. Governor signed into laws bills, which are Financial Autonomy of the Judiciary, also Ondo State House of Assembly Service Commission and Amotekun Law. We thank you sir for all these.
“The Ondo State Muti-door Court House was given birth before my tenure but there was no law backing it up.
“In having a Muti-door Court House, there we have processes relating to reconciliation, we have arbitration, we have conciliation, we have mediation. Now, when we don’t go into litigation on a full structure, possibility of bringing disputants together and make them become friends is available.
“But when you go fully into litigation, somebody will be described as the victor and the other one as the vanquished. At the end of the day the enmity will continue,” he stressed.