By PETER EGWUATU
The National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria have identified poor documentation by bank officials as one of the problems of failed banks in Nigeria.
Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, Chief Justice of Nigeria & Chairman Board of Governors, National Judicial Institute disclosed this at the 2012 National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges organized by NJI and CIBN.
According to her, we have noticed over time that a major problem with banking related cases is poor documentation by bank officials which have made the country gone through the bitter experience of failed banks in the time past. The country is still experiencing some of the consequences of that bitter era.
Mukhtar who was represented by, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, Justice of the Supreme Court, said that to avert such crises in the banking sector bankers ought to follow due process, keep proper records and also keep all contractual agreement with customers.
He also stressed the need for the judicial to collectively collaborate with the financial sector in dispute resolution to promote public confidence in the banking industry.
“But this is not just limited to settlement of disputes arising in the course of Banker/Customer relationship, but also for the purpose of setting standard, ensuring co-operate social responsibility and promoting public confidence in the banking industry,” Mukhtar stated
In his own comment, the President of CIBN, Segun Aina stated that the judicial system must adopt strategies for effective dispute resolution such as putting in place good dispute management policies and creating effective and conducive atmosphere.
However, on delays experienced in the dispensation of justice on banking related cases, Aina stressed the need to have fast track courts such that cases can be concluded within a period of three months as currently applicable in some African countries like Malawi, Ghana and South Africa.
The CIBN boss said, “We are not unaware of the substantial resources some states such as Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Borno, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the Federal Government had committed to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a window for quick dispensation of cases that would have lingered on in the Courts.
For instance, the Lagos Multi Door Court (LMDC) an initiative of the Lagos State Government, through its various programmes such as Lagos Settlement Week helps to administer ADR in Lagos State. Many cases involving banks and their customers have been amicably resolved through the instrumentality of LMDC.”