Tuesday, April 30, 2019 9:21 pm
Members of the Attorney-Mediators Association (AMA) and some other lawyers on Tuesday called on the Nigerian judiciary to insist on mediation as a major way to resolve dispute and decongest the courts.
Mr Valentino Buoro, a lawyer and Founder of the association, made the call in Lagos at a master-class event of AMA.
The event heralded the maiden mediation training for members of the association and other lawyers.
It had the theme “What Makes You a Good Mediator?”
According to Buoro, mediation is judiciary’s major to decongest the courts as it is fast becoming the contemporary method of dispute resolution.
“The fact that people are in a hurry to see their cases concluded is a mediation technique; mediation is a faster method of resolving disputes than litigation.
“Mediation is a very good alternative to litigation; with mediation, you resolve a dispute amicably and everyone goes home satisfied.
“Although it is important to train lawyers to practice mediation, it is equally important to educate Nigerians on the benefits of mediation,” he said.
Mr Yomi Okunnu, a lawyer and Chairman of the AMA Board of Trustees, said that unlike litigation, mediation was a win-win situation for parties involved.
“We need to sensitise ourselves and continually polish our mediation skills, mediation has not come to kick out litigation but it is definitely here to stay.
“All lawyers should have a mediation mindset.
”For any case that comes to your table; think settlement first and not the money you can make from it,” he advised.
Okunnu urged that lawyers’ first concern should be how to satisfy their clients rather than dragging cases to court for years in order to make more money.
A mediator and a resource person at the training, Mr Femi Akin-Johnson, listed some qualities of a good mediator as impartiality, passion and dedication.
He said that every case, including murder, could be mediated on.
“We are all mediators, we mediate in our daily activities, whether it is between our families or our friends.
“Lawyers need to create constant awareness for mediation, some people don’t even know what it is, we need to change that,” he said.
Akin-Johnson also urged young lawyers to pursue mediation, saying that it would give much profit and fame as litigation would.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflicts through communication and negotiation.