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Bill to allow conciliation in civil dispute scales second reading in Senate

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THE SENATE, on Wednesday, commenced a legal process that would permit the settlement of certain civil disputes by conciliation, mediation, and traditional dispute resolution.

Mohammed Sani Musa, representing Niger East, who sponsored the bill,  led the debate on the general principles of the bill, explaining that it sought to provide for the settlement of certain civil disputes by conciliation, mediation and traditional dispute resolution mechanism to set out the guiding principles applicable in Nigeria.

Speaking on the bill that scaled second reading, Musa said, “The principal object of the bill is to put in place a legal framework for the settlement of certain civil disputes by conciliation, mediation and traditional dispute resolution. Resolution of disputes forms part and parcel of everyday life in any given society. Hence effective dispute resolution mechanisms in a country will guarantee peace, is an enabler of trade and investment, and contribute to the economic, social and political development of the country.”

He listed the benefits of the bill. “Mr. President, my respected colleagues, numerous benefits will accrue if this bill is passed into law due to the following reasons; provide an effective mechanism for amicable dispute resolution; (b) promote a conciliatory approach to dispute resolution; (c) facilitate timely resolution of disputes at a relatively affordable cost; facilitate access to justice; enhance community and individual involvement in dispute resolution, and foster peace and cohesion.”

Musa said the bill intended to implement the provisions of the constitution concerning enhancing access to justice and promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in resolving disputes.

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan referred the bill to Opeyemi Bamidele-led Human Rights and Legal Matters committee to report back in four weeks.

The consideration of the Community Dispute Resolution Bill, 2021( SB.848) was read for the first time in the Senate on Tuesday.

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