Universities in Nigeria should deepen training of Lawyers and other stakeholders on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a way of fast-tracking justice dispensation in the country.
This was the submission of the Chairman, Governing Council of Nigeria Chambers of Commerce Dispute Resolution Centre (NCC-DRC), Chief Emeka Obegolu who lamented the dearth of ADR knowledge in current training programme of Lawyers in the country.
Obegolu who was speaking while receiving the Chairman, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria (CIArb) Abuja Chapter, Hon. Shola Ephraim-Oluwanuga said the non-inclusion of arbitration programme in the training of Lawyers should be revisited as the country is in dire need of ADR to address challenges facing justice administration in Nigeria.
He specifically noted that the Nigerian Law School should particularly refocus attention on equipping Lawyers with ADR skills and knowledge as justice administration is in needs of practitioners with requisite understanding of ADR to speed up justice dispensation.
“If we are to reduce cost of justice administration, if we are to speed up justice dispensation, then legal training should put ADR in the front burner. Arbitration is cheaper, less stressful and saves lots of time. These are reasons why the Universities must embrace ADR without further delay.
“This is why we are partnering with some of the Universities on ADR to give them opportunity to learn more on ADR because most Law graduate of Nigeria think the fastest way to be successful is through litigation. They see litigation as a way out but across the world people have come to embrace ADR as a way of settling dispute.”
Chief Obegolu who is also the 1st Deputy President, Abuja Chamber for Commerce and Industry (ACCI) added that the vision of the Centre is to sign Memorandum of Understanding with CIArb to move forward in this area adding that their request for their members to be nominated Arbitration secretaries is noted and will be considered.
“Thank you for commenting on our mentorship programme. We are committed to keep moving forward in this area.”
The Chairman CIArb, Hon. Shola who lauded the Centre’s recently launched mentorship programme for ADR said, the institute is aware of this giant stride in Arbitration hence, the need to seek partnership with the Centre.
“One thing we must say is, ADR is cheaper, faster and one can still make friends after every issue is settled unlike in litigation.”
One of the visiting team members, A.T. Kehinde (SAN) also lauded the mentorship programme while urging for more publicity for people to key into it.