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Lawyer calls for mediation to resolve Kogi political logjam

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Lawmakers Wig

Lawmakers Wig

A LAWYER and mediation advocate, Mr. Valentino Buoro yesterday called on the Attorney General and Minister for Justice to immediately approach the Supreme Court to set up a mediation panel to resolve the ongoing political crisis engulfing the Kogi State governorship election.

Buoro said in a statement on Wednesday that adjudication at any level of the Nigerian courts may not entirely resolve the issues at stake given the fact that as at the moment, no provision of law specifically addresses the novel but unfortunate development.

According to him the ongoing political challenge in Kogi State provides a perfect scenario for the nation’s judiciary to call in aid the principles and practice of alternative dispute resolution which is most likely to assuage the deep emotions of all parties who today lay claims to superior arguments in a matter for which our statute books have no definitive answer.

He said that a well-constituted Neutral Panel of Mediators would be able to identify the real stakeholders in the dispute and to explore their underlying interests with a view to reaching an outcome with which all parties can abide or live with

“A multiplicity of legal opinions and unfathomable verbiage of all manner of public affairs analysts do not address the core issue of good governance and a political leadership freely elected by the people of Kogi State themselves, since he who wears the shoes knows where it pinches’’

According to Buoro, in the event that a formal mediation with all critical stakeholders in attendance, does not entirely resolve the issues, the exercise would have narrowed down the areas of disagreement for subsequent adjudication by a competent Court of law.

The mediation advocate said that speaking from his professional experience, the issues in the Kogi crisis were of the kind that actually calls for what is referred to as multi-party mediation. He noted that aside the inter-party dispute between the PDP and the APC, there was also the equally damaging intra party crisis within the APC on the appropriate person to step into the shoes of the late Abubakar Audu to fly the party flag.

He said that the nation couldn’t afford to apply the brakes to the flow of democratic governance in the State and the country at large, in waiting for the Kogi gladiators to litigate their multiple interests.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which recently flaunted a well-articulated booklet entitled Guide to Electoral Alternative Dispute Resolution (EADR), to walk the talk by making available its knowledge in that regard to the Federal Government to resolve an appropriate challenge that has now arisen in its domain.


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