The Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, on Thursday inaugurated the Benin Customary Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (BCADRC), to arbitrate in disputes between individuals and communities in the Kingdom.
The eight-member Committee, made up of mostly retired Justices, were inaugurated at the palace grounds in Benin, in the presence of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (Zone 5) AIG Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, the State Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, the Chief Justice of the State, Justice Esther Ikpomwen, and representatives of the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
The Oba said members of the Committee who were carefully selected based on their past records, are eminent and respected sons of Benin Kingdom who have proved themselves in their various fields of endeavor.
The members are; Justice Samson Uwaifo (a retired Justice of the Supreme Court), Prof. Gregory Akenzua, Chief Edionwere Oliha (the Oliha of Benin), Justice Samuel Elaiho (retired Justice of Edo State High Court), Justice Joseph Olubor (retired President, Customary Court), Mr. Daniel Inneh, Chief Abel Ehiogie and Surveyor James Amadin Osazuwa.
In his Royal proclamation for their inauguration, Oba Ewuare II disclosed that the present eight members of the Committee will be expanded to 12, and divided into two groups with five members each and two floating members.
According to the Monarch, the Committee will arbitrate, mediate and resolve disputes among individuals and communities that voluntarily brings cases to them.
“If anybody is not satisfied with the decision of the committee, a window does exist for such person to see me to mediate,” he assured.
In his acceptance speech, Chairman of the Committee, Retired Justice Samson Uwaifo, said the inauguration of the committee has heralded a new dawn for dispute resolution in Benin Kingdom.
He assured that the committee will give fair hearing and justice to litigants, adding that the Committee will do their best to justify the confidence reposed in them by the Monarch.
In his speech, the AIG Zone 5, Muhammed Abubakar Adamu, who commended the Oba of Benin for setting up the dispute resolution committee, assured the palace of the support of the police in ensuring sucess of the committee.
He said the development would assist Benin communities as well as the police, as most case brought before the police are supposed to be dealt with by traditional institutions.
Responding, the Chief Justice of the State, Justice Esther Ikpomwen, said the establishment of the Committee will save the judiciary of time that could have otherwise been dicipated on cases that could have been resolved.