Features  |  Law  

Delta establishes Alternative Dispute Resolution centre

By By Bertram Nwannekanma   |   11 May 2010   |   11:51 am  
POISED to create harmony in resolving disputes among its citizens without resorting to judicial proceedings, Delta State government has established an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre known as the Department of People’s Rights in Ministry of Justice.

The department, The Guardian gathered, would handle disputes between companies and host communities, thereby providing basis for resolving disputes involving major company operating in the state.

Under the system, companies operating in the state are required to negotiate and execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its host community or communities with a copy of the MoU deposited with the Department of Peoples’ Rights for the purpose of monitoring its implementation and settling any dispute that might arise therefrom between the parties.

According to the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Victor Otomiewo, the department would also handle common disputes between landlords and tenants.

This category of disputes, he said, usually created insecurity of tenure with its attendant social problems for the tenant and his family.

Apart from that, the department, he said, was expected to handle the cases of violation of human rights.

He said: “Security of tenure is a very necessary ingredient of social stability, required for peaceful disposition in every society. One of the constitutional responsibilities of the government is the protection of human rights of the individual and this responsibility is carried out by the Ministry of Justice through the Department of People’s Rights and the department will ensure just that.”

According to the Commissioner, the Department of People’s Rights in the Ministry of Justice under the Directorship of Mr. Emamuzo Erebe, has an invaluable hand in creating industrial harmony in the state between employers and employees on dispute resolution and any other dispute that may be referred to the department, by the governor or any commissioner from time to time.

Apart from handling of disputes between employers and employees, the department will embark on public enlightenment campaigns to educate people on the criminality of the prevalent anti-social conducts such as extortion, riots, youth hooliganism, mob actions with their attendant criminal undertones.

“The department, as part of its functions, work in collaboration with relevant civil society groups such as non-governmental organisations, the private Bar and other interested parties to provide a greater effectiveness and access to justice for all particularly the disadvantaged in the state, and this helps to consolidate the gains of the present administration in the areas of peace, security of lives and property, which makes the state more people and investment friendly,” he added.

One remarkable feature of the department, the commissioner said, was that services were to be offered free of charge with only requirement being a written application addressed to the commissioner’s office at Asaba and marked for the Attention Director Department of People’s Rights.



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