Dispensation of Justice: Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC)as a Case Study

The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) Office at Igbosere- Lagos State|Nigeria.

 

 

Introduction

The alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process has been going through phases of advancement all over the world from the late ’60s to date. This is particularly characteristic of advanced world countries. Within Africa, the concept of ADR is gaining immense popularity and significance. Taking Nigeria into context, reference will be made to introducing the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) in 2002. The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (MDC) was conceived to provide clients and their counsel with practical alternatives for resolving disputes in commercial and other types of disputes as part of the public justice system.

 

The Relevance of Using Lagos State as a Case Study

Lagos is one of the biggest commercial or industrial cities in Africa.[1] Almost all new ideas of Law or legal development of the legal system in Nigeria originated from Lagos state, the federal capital territory of Nigeria, from 1914-1991. For instance, Lagos was the first to introduce the new civil procedure rules in 2004 based on Lord Woolf’s reform.[2] Lagos is widely known in Nigeria as the “Centre for Excellence.” Population wise, as of 2019, Lagos has over a 25million inhabitants with over 250 ethnic groups represented in Lagos as residents with a reasonable number of international or foreign citizens resident for various economic purposes. [3] Also, Lagos is blessed with enormous water resources and land resources, thus making Lagos inevitably the commercial capital of Nigeria and Africa due to the seaport location in Lagos.  Hence, the attraction of various international companies like the six major foreign oil companies, which dominated the Nigerian oil industry today (Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Elf, Agip and Texaco), were already present in Lagos- Nigeria, to set up their businesses in Lagos by the early 1960s.[4]

In the same vein, Lagos is the first state and first Africa continent to create a Multi-Door Courthouse for speedy dispensation of justice. This means that it provides an efficient justice system that will allow trust and confidence in the running of its state that will permit or enable business and growth to strive; this has sustained the tempo since its creation in 2002. Thus the blogger refers to the LMDC as ‘Jagaban’ (Jagaban-boss of all bosses but in this context means ‘first of its kind’).

The scheme is currently incorporated as part of the justice system. Its relevance has developed due to its unique way of linking cases to appropriate forums for appropriate settlements through ‘the Multiple doors’- Arbitration, Mediation, Negotiation, Early Neutral Evaluation and the Hybrid process. Enquiries or questions have been asked about its simplicity and amenable nature, especially when compared to litigation. The blogger seeks to answer these questions and provide insight into the effectiveness and its impact on other states so far, particularly the Enugu State Multi-Door Courthouse (ESMDC).

                                                    

 The Causes of Conflict / Disputes

Generally, when a person wants to achieve specific goals and the person’s goals were not met, they experience frustration which leads to anger. This anger can be channelled out in maladaptive ways. It is essential to point out that if the societal expectation is too heavy on the individual or they cannot meet up with what is expected of them from their group, this can lead to conflict or dispute.  It is essential to state that this blogger would use the terms dispute and conflicts interchangeably.

 

Through the View Lens of Maslow’s Law

One of the ‘needs’ of human beings, according to Abraham Maslow,[1], is a sense of belonging(ness)[2].  This is one of the needs that a human being psychologically needs to be able to feel well, but only when they belong and feel accepted within a  particular group.[3] Similarly, Burton asserted that human needs are usually the core cause of conflict between people.[1] He went ahead to describe the interaction of human conflicts/disputes and how they seem to affect the result of conflict, the individual or group of individuals.[2]  Especially in Africa, where one must introduce themself within the group. For example, if you meet a man in the village and ask him ‘who you are? He will respond with an answer ‘I am Obiesie, son of Nkachukwu Egbunike.’

 

How is Maslow’s theory related to Dispute Resolution in Africa?

Everybody comes from a kindred, so an average Africa defines himself within his family, within his group. The African would be defined by what his group says of him or thinks of him. This is a common thing and is a general practice in Africa. Although we are all social beings, its society (pun intended) influences them in African society; what they usually think of themselves is what people in the group or unit, like their parents, friends, siblings, and colleagues, think of them.

Professor Ebigbo’s harmony restoration theory validated the above viewpoint:

“African views an individual in its holistic totality within oneself in relation to the forces the individual believes in: the ancestors, the various spirits, powerful forces emanating from the supreme being (God) and infused into trees, humans, forces of nature, fauna and flora, and of course in smaller gods. For the African, one is not at ease, or is indeed ill, if there is an alteration’ or conflict between himself and the person’s world of relationships.’ [1] … “The relationships that are important to the individual outside the family also belong to the mesocosmos, in other words, co-workers, classmates, roommates, co-religious members, friends, etc. To the extent that there is a relationship between the individual and places, situations, objects, animals such as pets, etc. The mesocosmos and the exocosmos represent a vital world of relationship to the ancestors, spirits, deities, gods, and indeed all forces outside of one but which are outside the concrete world of relationships.”[2]

Thus the relationship that the individual has with his world is referred to as ‘Mesocosmos.’ Putting the above view into context, where dispute or conflict has reared its ugly head, then it follows through that ‘things have fallen apart’ between oneself and/ or his unit or group, which invariably leads to frustration and distress. This frustration or distress will be restored as soon as the dispute is resolved. I embrace the aforementioned theory made by Professor Ebigbo but not wholly because faulty relationships can be likened to conflict cannot be entirely resolved’ without those groups or kindred sitting down to listen and dialogue. Hence the person who is at fault will either apologize to the kindred/ groups or unit after they must have given their verdict.

Consequently, harmony/ peace is restored, which is the main strongholds of ‘traditional dispute resolution’; this practically enables living as ‘one’, which is one of the many benefits of the Traditional African Society (TAM)’ [7]  [8]‘. This saying in African, “a tree cannot make a forest[9],” validates the above thinking – this is relatable or in tune with how disputes or conflicts are resolved in Nigeria.

It is essential to point out that in the case of a land dispute, both parties will make concessions by either giving up the land entirely or half of the land before the dispute is resolved or a rift in their relationship will be fully mended. The above viewpoint is supported by the recent case of Chief Emenike Mgbemena v. Nze Ezeakaibie[12], where the Traditional Supreme Council of Obosi (TSCO) elder/ kindred ( a neutral party) settled the dispute between the aforementioned parties after listening to the complaint from both parties, a verdict was reached.  Nze Ezeakaibie was asked to apologize to Chief Emenike for peace to reign in both families. This case validates the point regarding dispute resolution in Africa – as people who are not on good terms with their families and communities tend to suffer a lot of seclusion like ‘ostracisation’, which is still prevalent to date. It is pertinent to point out that in Africa, Nigeria to be precise, they do not have enough psychotherapists, but what comes to help in health problems and in the same vein in restoring conflict/dispute is the social groups –  the elders, the families, the strong extended families system, the kindred, the villagers and in recent years the churches [13] and the mediators.

The above-stated assertion resonates with the Ubuntu philosophy.[1] which signifies respect for humanity, respect for living in harmony with their group. [3].On the other hand, some proponents of the Traditional African Method of Settling Disputes (TAMSD) have insisted that this dispute settlement service brings parties involved closer than the legal system. However, some leaders in the alternative dispute resolution movement have pointed out that these traditional institutions are no longer as important as they once were in fostering social harmony or settling disputes.

 

 African or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

Greco has argued that the various communities in Africa have used Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) before the advent of the colonial masters. For example,  in East Africa-(Uganda), the Europeans’ arrival ushered in the new era or style of ADR.

On the other hand, Professor Nadar described this as a modern ADR movement that seeks a kind of global uniformity. In Africa, Christian missionaries began to replace the local dispute resolution structure, which often varied from village to village, with one that was more consistent and more European.[1] As colonialism began to fade, there was a belief that the Africans needed to be educated in the Western rule of Law to govern them rightly to become more civilised.[2]. However, Elisabetta Grande begged the question. Does this mean that we are experiencing a new kind of legal transplant, a transplant from less complex to more complex societies?

On the contrary, Dr Emilia Onyema stated that there were different methods of settling disputes in various communities in Nigeria before the colonial era. Though they were no unified or centralized States in their modern construct in these communities. Thus, the idea of state-sponsored and managed dispute resolution such as litigation was unknown in these communities.[4] Therefore litigation was an alternative to these African communities by their European Colonizers.

Conversely, Okereafoezeke, in his book, observed that the British colonists forcibly changed the face of social control and in Igbo and other parts of Nigeria by imposing English Law and Justice on Nigerians.[5] Consequently, litigation thrived than the private and traditional processes of dispute resolution.[6] Dr Onyema observed that one of the reasons for this shift was the availability of the state-backed sanctions in support of the state courts’ decisions.

Hence, the underlying factor of the Traditional African Method of Settling Disputes (TAMSD) is that it thrives on peace, compromise and consent of both parties.  These are what legitimizes the entire decision, which is similar to the western ADR. However, the rise of the ADR mechanism with the same attributes/ benefits of the TAMSD has resulted in managing disputes effectively and maintaining a cordial/ business relationship. Hence, ADR is not an alternative for Africa; rather, it is an African original way of settling disputes.

 

The Birth of the Jagaban -Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC)

The ADR centre is a public-private partnership between the High court of Justice Lagos state and the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group under the sponsorship of Kehinde Aina who is the founder of the NCMG and the Multi-Door court scheme in Nigeria. Mr Aina stated that he was inspired by the Multi-Door Court Scheme in America, which was founded by the late Professor Frank Sander in 1976. Thus  the LMDC was birthed in 2002, and LMDC law was enacted in 2007 (and reviewed in 2015) in a bid to reduce the dockets of the court and promote a faster case flow management system which aligns with the overriding objective of the LMDC as stipulated in Section 29 of LMDC Act 2007 is as follows:

Chinwe with the LMDC founder-Mr Kehinde Aina

a) To enhance access to justice by providing alternative mechanisms to supplement litigation in the resolution of disputes;

b) minimize citizen frustration and delays in justice delivery by providing a standard legal framework for the fair and efficient settlement of disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

c) serve as the focal point for the promotion of Alternative Dispute  Resolution in Lagos State; and

d) promote the growth and effective functioning of the justice system through Alternative Dispute Resolution methods.

Aside from the aforementioned LMDC Law, there are other functions and roles of prominent justice stakeholders, some of which are as follows:

 

The Purpose of the Court:– Section 16 of the LMDC Law states that the high court of Lagos state controls and manages proceedings effectively. This includes a referral by the court to use ADR to explore settlement in LMDC whenever one of the parties is willing to do so.

The ADR Judge’s role:– Under Section 15 of the same Law -Judge’s are mandated to require the attendance of defaulting party before him to show cause why he or she has refused to submit to ADR. After such a hearing, the ADR judge can give orders as he/ she deems fit in the event of fulfilling the overriding objectives of the LMDC.

The Role of the Lawyer:– By section 17(3a), a lawyer is expected to give due consideration, support to suggestions, directives and orders from the court for an amicable settlement or referral of ongoing matters to the LMDC.

The Role of Parties:– Section 18 stipulates that the disputing parties are to cooperate with the administrators of the LMDC in administering their dispute settlement. They also have a responsibility to seriously consider the adoption of the ADR process and procedures when encouraged by the courts, their lawyers or the LMDC.

Enforcement:- Section 19 of the LMDC Law provides that on the completion of an ADR proceeding, settlement agreements which are signed by the parties shall be enforceable as a contract between the parties. Consequently, if such agreements are endorsed by an ADR judge, they shall be deemed to be applicable as a consent judgement of the High Court of Lagos State.

The provisions of these Laws demonstrate that the LMDC is a fast track dispute resolution centre and carries the stamp of enforcement like any other judgment of the High court of Nigeria. It is essential to point out that LMDC is the first of its kind in Nigeria and in Africa continent is set to promote and encourage the use of Court-connected ADR (which is similar to the Traditional African Method of Settling Disputes) for the efficient settlement of all kinds of cases in Lagos state.

 

The Humble Beginnings of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC)

The first office space took off in a thirty-five (35) square metre chamber of a judge with only a cubicle-like room for mediation. However, it grew wings just like an eagle who is anxious to catch food; the resulting effect is that in over three years, its operations and office space increased. The first extension was in December 2002 when the criminal court was vacated for the centre’s use. The three other extensions that comprise a storage room, the account’s section, and the then court Ten (10) took place between 2003 and 2005. Fast forward to 2019, LMDC sits in an upstairs building with about 30 rooms or more in the premises of the High Court of Lagos State in Igbosere, with another office (ADR Track) in Ikeja, which is in Lagos mainland. As depicted in this work, the expansion and the work the LMDC team has done so far simply demonstrate the LMDC team’s resilience, bearing in mind the ‘Nigerian factor.’ Despite that, the LMDC has thrived and thus far has contributed to the decongestion of the court’s dockets in Lagos State.

 

Conclusion

The blogger has explored some preliminary background issues relating to Lagos state’s court structure and why it was necessary to introduce the LMDC in the Nigerian clime, which is similar to the TAMSD- to enhance access to justice.

In furtherance, the work laid a brief foundation on the history of TAMSD, what ADR means in Nigerian jurisdiction and highlights its contribution and benefits in terms of restoring relationships and settling disputes informally.

 

References: 

Elisabetta Grande,  Dispute Resolution, Africa and the Structure of Law and Power: The Horn in Context  (Journal of African Law, 1999, Vol. 43, No. 1 1999)

[4] Chinwe Umegbolu, Dispensation of Justice: Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse  (LMDC)  as a Case Study in Nigeria. (Ongoing research at University of Brighton 2018-2021)

[1] Mfuniselwa Bhengu, ‘The Locus of Ubuntu within the Christian Church in Africa’ (2016) Academia Edu p.10

[2] Center for Khemitology, ‘ Ubuntu Philosophy’ Short Course attended by the blogger  2020) accessed 29th March 2020

[3] Bhengu, ‘The Locus of Ubuntu within the Christian Church in Africa’

Diane Moore, Methodological Assumptions and Analytical Frameworks Regarding Religion Part One (2020) p.2 (Course attended by the blogger).

[1] Peter Ebigbo, ‘Harmony Restoration Therapy: Theory And Practice’ (2017) International Journal for Psychotherapy in Africa (2:1) p.22

[2] Ibid

[3] Innocent Uwah, ‘The Representation of African Traditional Religion and Culture in Nigeria Popular films’ (2011) Religion, Media and Politics in Africa p. 81

[4]Toyin Falola, Heaton, Matthew, A History of Nigeria (Cambridge University Press 2008) p.5

[5] Ebigbo, ‘Harmony Restoration Therapy: Theory And Practice’ p.22-23

[6] Ibid

[7] Chinwe Umegbolu, ‘Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: The Facts of Divorce As They Stand Today’ (2020) 39 (1) Resolution Institute | the arbitrator & mediator p.3

[8] Ibid

[9] Ugo Ikwuka, ‘Perceptions of Mental Illness in Southeastern Nigeria: Causal Beliefs, Attitudes, Help-Seeking Pathways and Perceived Barriers To Help-Seeking’, University of Wolverhampton 2016)p.i

[10] Sherif, Group Conflict and Co-operation: Their Social Psychology p.21

[11] Umegbolu, ‘Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: The Facts of Divorce As They Stand Today’

[12]Chief Emenike Mgbemena v. Nze Ezeakaibe (Traditional Supreme Council Obosi 2019 unpublished)

[13] Ebigbo, ‘Harmony Restoration Therapy: Theory And Practice’ p.50

[1] Olexandrivna, ‘The Conflict within the Concepts of Needs Abraham Maslow and John Burton: Archetypal Analysis’

[2] Ibid

[1] Zozulia Olexandrivna, ‘The Conflict within the Concepts of Needs Abraham Maslow and John Burton: Archetypal Analysis’ (2017) Faculty of humanities and social technologies, National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”, Ukraine p.93-94.

[2] Ibid

[3] Saul Mcleod, ‘Maslow Hierarchy of Needs’ ( 2007) Highgate Counselling Centre p.2

[4] Olexandrivna, ‘The Conflict within the Concepts of Needs Abraham Maslow and John Burton: Archetypal Analysis’

[5] Ibid

[6] Peter Ebigbo, ‘Harmony Restoration Therapy: Theory And Practice’ (2017) International Journal for Psychotherapy in Africa (2:1) p.22

[7] Ibid

[8] Innocent Uwah, ‘The Representation of African Traditional Religion and Culture in Nigeria Popular films’ (2011) Religion, Media and Politics in Africa p. 81

[9]Toyin Falola, Heaton, Matthew, A History of Nigeria (Cambridge University Press 2008) p.5

[10] Ebigbo, ‘Harmony Restoration Therapy: Theory And Practice’ p.22-23

[11] Ibid

[12] Chinwe Umegbolu, ‘Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: The Facts of Divorce As They Stand Today’ (2020) 39 (1) Resolution Institute | the arbitrator & mediator p.3

[13] Ibid

[14] Ugo Ikwuka, ‘Perceptions of Mental Illness in Southeastern Nigeria: Causal Beliefs, Attitudes, Help-Seeking Pathways and Perceived Barriers To Help-Seeking’, University of Wolverhampton 2016)p.i

[15] Sherif, Group Conflict and Co-operation: Their Social Psychology p.21

[16] Umegbolu, ‘Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: The Facts of Divorce As They Stand Today’

[17]Chief Emenike Mgbemena v. Nze Ezeakaibe (Traditional Supreme Council Obosi 2019)

[18] Ebigbo, ‘Harmony Restoration Therapy: Theory And Practice’ p.50

[1] Ibid

[2] Ibid,

[3]William Idowu, ‘African Jurisprudence and the Reconciliation Theory of Law’ (2006) 37 Cambrian L Rev 1 p.5

[4] Emilia Onyema, Rethinking the Role of African National Courts in Arbitration (Published Wolters Kluwer 2018) p.13.

[5] Nonso Okereafoezeke, Law and Justice in Post -British Nigeria Conflicts and Interactions between Native and Foreign Systems of Social Control in Igbo (Library of Congress cataloguing-in-publication Data 2002) p. 13.

[1] Theodora Kio-Lawson, ‘Lagos State Judges take a stand on ADR’ BusinessDay (Nigeria) <www.businessdayonline.com> accessed 20th February 2020 p.37

[1] Sir Alan Burns, History of Nigeria (Updated Paperback Edition of the Eighth Edition with revisions George Allen & Unwin Ltd 1978) 18.

[2] A Compendium of Articles Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): The Association of Multi-Door Courthouses of Nigeria. p.7

[3] Ibid (n1)18.

  1. [4] Jedrzej George Frynas, Litigation in the Nigeria Oil Industry: A Socio-Legal Analysis of the Legal Disputes Between Oil Companies and Communities (A Thesis Submitted for the Degree of PhD at the University of St Andrews 1999) 18.
  2. A Stone Plaque discovered by the blogger at the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse…The ADR Centre… (Date of Launch- 2012)

3. Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Law 2007

4. Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse  Law 2015

5. The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse…The ADR Centre… The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Neutrals’ Handbook 2016. p10-11

6.Johnson Olawale, What ‘Jagaban’ really means in Nigeria accessed 1st January 2020

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31 thoughts on “Dispensation of Justice: Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC)as a Case Study

  1. I like that it provides a unbiased platform for dispute resolution without the huge legal bills attached to a lengthy court case. I wonder if it can be used effectively in Divorce cases? Can an out of court ADR proceedings (like the multi door court) be used to facilitate voluntary settlements?
    I think it will help a lot of women that might be financially disadvantaged to resolve their issues

    • It is pertinent to mention that ADR can be used in divorce proceedings and LMDC can facilitate such settlements. However, they are special procedures and practise rules and regulation that guide it. These rules are different from the general rules that govern commercial contracts. Legally speaking it is not in doubt that marriage is a type of agreement. Yet, that does not mean that it is the same as commercial contracts. Marriage is a special kind of agreement with special rules and regulations that guide it. Thus, only a high court judge has exclusive power or jurisdiction to issue a decree nisi or a decree absolute for the dissolution of marriage.
      Similarly, only a high court judge can annul a marriage. In Nigeria, particularly in Lagos state where the MDC exists. ADR can be used to resolve all civil, commercial disputes and in recent years some criminal offences.
      Additionally, in divorce proceedings; ADR can be used to settle financial issues involving the petitioner and the respondent.
      That is to say, ADR can be used to share properties amicably between the petitioner and the respondent in a divorce proceeding. It can also be used to resolve the issue of child custody and alimony or maintenance between distressed spouse. However, the divorce itself cannot be achieved with mere ADR except if the parties themselves voluntarily agree to terms reached via mediation. In the LMDC, alimony etc can be agreed voluntarily or court-referred. If it is the latter, then the parties on deciding on the terms of the contract will then sign the settlement reached in the presence of their mediator (who is a neutral 3rd party) and then it shall be enforceable as terms of settlement (TOS) and such agreements shall be endorsed by an ADR judge, which will be deemed as a consent judgement.
      Essentially, countries like the UK, USA, Australia, Nigeria etc, do request and encourage divorce couple to mediate. However, mediation might not be suitable for parties in an acrimonious relationship and domestic abuse.
      Note: The difference between dissolution and annulment of marriage is that the earlier is used for valid marriages while the latter is used for marriages that are not valid. Hence what every disputant must check is to see what is available within their jurisdiction.

      I hope that i have in some way, addressed the issue you have raised. Thank you for your contribution.

    • That’s exactly the whole aim of this blog to create more awareness for this unique scheme. Thank you for your comments, Ola.

  2. A very well written piece! ADR is definitely picking up pace worldwide and it is very encouraging to see Nigerian states picking up on it too. Hopefully this will be introduced in more states as well to further relieve the apparent strain on the judicial system. Well done Chinwe.

    • I agree. Thank you for your contribution. I will keep posting more developments on the LMDC.

    • That is the whole aim of this blog to create more awareness for other states and Sub-Saharan Africa countries to replicate or embrace this unique scheme. Thank you for your contribution, Toyin.

  3. It’s great to know that the LMDC is part of the legal justice system, instilling confidence in the fact that the government is committed to ensuring that access to justice is provided with ease to various parties. Also, it is commendable that it started in Lagos, being the economic heart of Nigeria; meaning the impact of its successes and shortcomings will be put in context for other states to benefit from in modeling their own ADR institutions or mechanisms if they choose to do so. Thank you for this write-up Chinwe!

    • I totally agree with you! That is the whole aim of this blog to create more awareness for this unique scheme. Thank you for your contribution.

  4. Very interesting read, kindly clarify on how fast it takes the ADR to link cases to appropriate fora for settlements. Also in a situation where there are several similar cases presented at the same time how effective is the LMDC to determine which case gets attended to first.

    • Cases are linked within 24hrs, and a typical example is the landmark case involving the first elected vice president of Nigeria Dr Alex Ekwueme. This case has been ongoing for Seventeen years. As soon as the matter was referred to Lagos multi-door courthouse (LMDC) for mediation the parties signed the terms of the settlement, it was resolved within a day. The case mentioned above provides a particular example of the effectiveness of the LMDC. The proceedings for initiating a matter at the LMDC is quite different from the regular courts. The three (3) ways cases can be brought to the LMDC is as follows:
      1) By referral- parties can be referred by the court,
      2) Walk-in center-Parties can decide to initiate their cases through mediation,
      3) by Direct intervention: the LMDC can assist parties in the resolution of their disputes by extending an invitation to these parties. Thus the LMDC will not find it challenging to know which cases get attended first due to these simple processes or proceedings they employed -due to the LMDC simplicity of its procedures, devoid from technicalities like the litigation oftentimes the mediator convenes a joint session to help establish some ground rules-this is where parties to a dispute get to iron out their differences in the presence of the mediator within a day or two, depending on the case, this cannot happen in the regular courts. This makes it easier for the mediator thus making or creating room for more cases to be taken.
      Thank you for your contribution. I hope this answers your questions.

      References: Emilia Onyema, The Multi door Court House (MDC) Scheme in Nigeria: A
      Case Study of the Lagos MDC (School of Social of Oriental and African
      Studies 2012)11
      Stella Dawson, Alternative Courthouse in Lagos speeds the delivery of justice
      (2013) (Thomas Reuters Foundation) 23

      Lagos State Multi door Court Law 2007

      Lagos state multidoor court practice directions on mediation
      https://nigeria/ii.org/content/lagos-state-multidoor-court-practice-directions-mediation. accessed 27th September 2019

  5. What is the difference between the EMDC from the LMDC or what material differences are there between LMDC and EMDC?

    • Well, i can’t tell for now because the LMDC is well established while ESMDC just opened its doors in September 2018. In due time I will be able to determine the differences between the two.

      Thank you for your comment.

      • Not so much of a difference, however, the ESMDC started taking on minor offences like assault etc. From the day of inception to date while the LMDC started the same in 2019 through the restorative justice door under the magistrate courts.

    • I am back from my data collection, so from my observation and data collected, there are no significant differences between the two schemes-LMDC and ESMDC except that the ESMDC started taking on minor offences from date of inception while the LMDC started taking on minor offences in 2019 through the magistrate court via the Restorative Justice door. Thank you once again for your comment.

  6. Naturally, the cost of litigation in Nigeria is quite enormous both in finance and time. The contemporary judicial procedure doesn’t help matters either.
    Alternative dispute resolution methods, therefore, should be embraced and encouraged.

    • Thank you so much Chinedu for your contribution, that’s precisely the point.

  7. It is a truism that mediation has come to stay in Nigeria in particular and the world in general. With this wonderfully written piece, I see mediation given one more push into the world of visibility. Post Covid-19, the mediation space will be more relevant as disputes emerge and the efforts to settle them move from traditional physical sessions to the virtual space through online dispute resolution (ODR). Be that as it may, this will undoubtedly give rise to peculiar pros and cons beyond the well known advantages and disadvantages of mediation in Nigeria. Lack of adequate power supply, poor internet connectivity quality, confidentiality issues etc will come up and it is the duty of mediation enthusiasts to look beyond them and fashion out a solution that will stand the test of time. Thank you Chinwe.

    • Well said John that was quite concise and I totally agree with you.

  8. You have done a thorough work in this piece. Kudos to you dear Chinwe for the painstaking.
    With the amount of energy, intellectual property and awareness that is being invested in this subject matter, very soon it will become a household name.
    Worthy of note and Interestingly too, other states outside Lagos State, have started adopting it. Permit me to say it is a right step in the right direction.
    I, personally will keep track of this, as I get more enlightened each time I read from your stable.
    Well done! Your efforts are very much appreciated!

    • Thank you, Tessy, for your comment. Much appreciated.
      I will keep posting more developments of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) to keep you informed.

  9. This is a fantastic read, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article in particular. Thanks for enlightening me on this matter and I just say Nigeria is miles ahead of my home country Haiti 🇭🇹 in terms of conflicts resolution. Thanks again.

    • That’s the whole essence of this blog, to create awareness hopefully, soon, Haiti might adopt or replicate the MDC.
      Thanks, Hub for your comment.

  10. I most truly commend this work because it really explained a lot. May the good Lord continue to shower you with knowledge and understanding. But please my question goes this-
    What is the proper procedure for initiating a case at the Lagos multi door courthouse and how agreement are enforced?

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