Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has signed the Multi-door Courthouse bill into Law to promote easier access to Justice in line with global trends in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The governor who signed the bill into Law on Tuesday at the EXCO Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure, encouraged the people of the state to explore the alternative dispute resolution that the multi-door courthouse provides.
The Chairman Southern Governors Forum 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 enmity and takes a longer time to resolve.
Akeredolu disclosed that the law would assist the legal process which has become cumbersome in the country.
He charged the judges and other stakeholders in charge of administration of justice to always encourage litigants to make use of out-of-court settlements and explore alternative dispute resolution for the peace and progress of society.
While saying that it may be difficult for parties involved in cases to become friends again after taking their cases to the conventional courts for adjudication, he noted that the newly signed Multi-door Courthouse Law would ensure peace in society.
His words: “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.”
The Governor further congratulated the outgoing Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Williams Akintoroye, on the signing of the bill into Law during his time, saying the Executive arm of government has enjoyed working with both the Judiciary and the Legislative arms of government without rancour.
“I need to note that this bill is being signed into law during your own time. I note, particularly, that this will form part of your preparation to exit the judiciary which is supposed to come up on Friday. We will remember today, that Ondo state multi-door courthouse law was signed into law in your own time.
“I use this opportunity to congratulate you for your meritorious service. You have done your very best and we have worked with you without rancour. I want to say we, and I speak on behalf of the legislature, we have enjoyed working with you.
“When we say we have enjoyed working with you, it is not about influence. We have not influenced you. But for us to know that we have a gentleman on the bench who resolves matters without ruffling shoulders.”
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,” he said.
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.
Similarly, Justice Williams Akintoroy 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. What do I mean? Just some months ago, Mr Governor signed into law 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 Multi-door CourtHouse was given birth before my tenure but there was no law backing it up.
“In having a Muti-door CourtHouse, 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, the possibility of bringing disputants together and making 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.”
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