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FG, Rivers, Oyo to establish new courts for ease of doing business

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
30 November 2022   |   12:56 pm
Nigeria’s Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and the Judiciary in Oyo and Rivers States today announced the establishment of Small Claims Courts as part of an attempt to boost investors' confidence and reduce the challenges faced by small and medium-scale businesses.

Oyo and Rivers State Judiciaries, in collaboration with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), have inaugurated Small Claims Judicial Committees to begin the process of establishing Small Claims Courts in their respective States.

This is contained in a statement signed by Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the Special Adviser to the President, Ease of Doing Business and PEBEC Secretary, which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.

Already the states have inaugurated Small Claims Judicial Committees to begin the process of establishing Small Claims Courts in their respective States.

Special Adviser to the President, Ease of Doing Business and PEBEC Secretary, Dr Jumoke Oduwole in a statement signed by Dr Jumoke Oduwole said the move would improve access to justice by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the establishment of Small Claims Courts.

Accordingly, the courts would improve the judicial process by making it easier to resolve simple debt recovery disputes involving small claims of fN5m and below.

Oduwole added that the judgements were expected to be delivered within 60 days for all claims filed in a Small Claims Court, with an additional 30 days for enforcement.

The court would according to her strongly encourage self-representation and adheres to strict timelines for important court events. So far, Small Claims Courts have been established in Lagos, Kano, Edo, Ogun, Ekiti, Jigawa, and Nasarawa States.

The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola, who inaugurated the Small Claims Judicial Committee for the establishment of Small Claims Court in Oyo State, emphasised the importance of Small Claims Courts in expediting simple financial cases.

He charged the committee, which would be chaired by Justice O.S. Adeyemi, to diligently carry out its mandate in accordance with the PEBEC guidelines and submit its report within 14 days of the inauguration.

The Chief Judge of the Rivers State Judiciary Justice Simeon Amadi, while inaugurating the Small Claims Judicial Committee to oversee the creation of Small Claims Court in Rivers State, noted that while the State appeared to be starting late in establishing a Small Claims Court, the Rivers State Judiciary was “spurred to start well and overtake others who started earlier”.

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