By Lucky Isibor
The Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, 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.
Inaugurating the eight-member Committee at a ceremony attended by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (Zone 5) AIG Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, the State Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Frances Ikpomwen and representatives of the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Oba Ewuare 11 said members of the Committee were carefully selected based on their past records saying they are eminent and respected sons of Benin Kingdom who have proved themselves in their field 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 (a retired Judge of Edo State High Court), Justice Joseph Olubor (retired President, Edo State Customary Court of Appeal), Mr. Daniel Inneh, Chief Abel Ehiogie and Surveyor James Amadin Osazuwa.
In his Royal proclamation for their inauguration, Oba Ewuare Il 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.
“The membership of the committee shall be twelve, to sit at two committees of Arbiters of five members and to have two floating members who will resolve/settle disputes brought before them”.
According to the Monarch, the Committee will arbitrate, mediate and resolve disputes among individuals and communities that voluntarily bring 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 in 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 remarks, the AIG Zone 5, Muhammed Abubakar Adamu, while commending the Oba of Benin for setting up the dispute resolution committee pointed out that the new development will lessen the work of the police in the state and give them space to focus in the core area of crime fighting.
While pointing out that the inauguration of BCADRC would assist Benin communities, AIG Adamu assured the palace of the support of the police in ensuring sucess of the committee.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Frances Ikpomwen, said the establishment of the Committee will save the judiciary of time that could have otherwise been dissipated on cases that could be resolved without resulting to regular courts.