Ambode opens more Citizens Mediation Centres
In furtherance of his desire to ensure peaceful coexistence among Lagos citizens and discongest the conventional courts, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has expanded the Citizens Mediation Centres in some parts of the state. The Citizens Mediation Center’s philosophy is a system of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The newly established ones are located in Epe, Eredo LCDA and Ikosi-Ejinrin sub-offices respectfully. The Epe Unit, which would serve as the zone’s headquarters is located at Royal Treat Plaza, Ita Opo, Epe.
The essence of its creation across the state, as explained by the Director of the Centre, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Odusanya, is to ensure that every citizen has direct access to justice in a less cumbersome and effective manners.
According to Odusanya, there is already 15 of such centres across the state, with the plan to extend it to all local government areas and the development council development areas.
She explained that the initiative became imperative in view of the understanding that many cases taken to court could be settled in a way that both parties to the dispute would get justice without any cost.
“Besides, there is this yoruba adage that says we don’t come back from court and retain friendship. But in our case, we not only settle disputes, but we ensure that cordial relationships that have been existing, or lacking is retained, or provided”.
Among the disputes that could be brought to CMC, include Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Employer/Employee disputes, Employee Compensation disputes. Others are Family disputes (include marital disputes, child custody, among others), Property Inheritance and Land Disputes, Monetary Claims, Commercial Disputes and Local disputes.
In his reaction, the Legal Adviser, Lagos State of Assembly, Mr. Sesan Ogundeko, noted that the programme was meant to ensure that people in Epe Division would not need to go to Ikorodu or Ikeja to seek justice.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said establishment of CMC in Epe demonstrated the commitment of Governor Ambode to the welfare of the citizenry.
According to Kazeem, the top priority is to ensure peaceful coexistence of every resident of the city, saying that services would be at no cost.
“The closest CMC hitherto is Ibeju-Lekki, but now Epe is having its own, making it 18 centres across the metropolis”. He listed Agege, Alimosho, Ojokoro, Yaba, Lagos Island, Ibeju-Lekki, Epe, among others as where the centres are located.