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Ondo CJ stresses importance of Palace Courts

Ondo CJ stresses importance of Palace Courts

By Kayode Olabanji & Seye Fakinlede.
In recognition of the importance and role of Palace Courts in the administration of Justice, the Ondo State Judiciary at the weekend held a -day seminar on restructuring and strengthening of the native authorities in the State.

   The seminar held at the Ondo State Property Development Corporation Event Centre in Ijapo Estate, Akure was tagged “The Role of Palace Courts in the 21st Century administration of Justice.”

  Declaring the seminar open, Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, represented by the Attorney General and Commissions  Justice of the state, Mr Kola Olawoye, he described the seminar as first of its kind in Ondo State.

He appreciated the effort of the judiciary for making such seminar possible as he made reference to the genesis of Palace Courts’ judgements, citing the judgment delivered by King Solomon of the Bible, which he noted was applicable in their delivery and settling of communal disputes.

Earlier, the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Hon. Justice O. O Akeredolu,described the native court, otherwise called “Palace Court”, as a very important arm of the native authority system of government before the advent of the common law, which she said has not been reviewed in its importance in the 21st Century administration of justice.

The Keynote Speaker, Hon. Justice Chima Centus Nweze, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria represented by Hon. Justice Pat. Mahmod, from the Court of Appeal, Akure,  said, the practice of Chiefs or Elders of the community settling disputes between members of their communities is both recognised by our legal system, not in conflict with the exercise of the judicial powers of the Constitution.

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Speaking at the seminar, Dr. Adeolu Akinbosede, who spoke on the benefits of  Palace Courts in the 21st Century emphasized its proximity to any warring parties and the informality of the languages used in which it is easy for justice to be addressed.

According to the, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the success of the traditional courts lies on the fact that there is no technicalities in the language used. But it has a deep understanding and application of the custom and tradition.

He said the success of the palace courts is due to the respected members of the community, (pastors, Imams, retired presidents of customary courts among others) who are the decision makers in hearing and settling communal disputes.

Royal fathers that attended the seminar included, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade, Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinrutan, Olowa of Igbara Oke, Oba Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede and other dignitaries, Judges, Magistrates, Members of the Ondo State Judicial Commission, Members of Akure /Owo Nifwei Bar Association.

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