Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC); Justice Ibrahim Auta, News Editor of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Kayode Matthew and others, yesterday received meritorious awards.

Those who also received meritorious awards are: News Editor of Leadership Newspaper; Mr. Tony Amokhedo, News Editor of ThisDay Newspaper; Mr. Davidson Iriekpen and News Editor of The Sun Newspaper; Alhaji Sina Aiyekoti.

The awards were presented during the National Association of Judicial Correspondents, NAJUC, annual seminar/award ceremony held at Muson Centre, Lagos.

Justice John Isoho, who received the award on behalf of FHC Chief Judge, advised journalists to report adequately and ask questions whenever in doubt.

Delivering a lecture on the topic, “The Importance of ADR to the Nigerian Justice System and the Role of the Media” the Director of Lagos Multi-Door Court House, LMDC, Mrs Caroline Etuk, noted that lawyers constitute a big challenge to Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR.

She said: “ADR is not in place to supplant litigation. In ADR, it is the parties that bring out the solution, what ADR does is to facilitate the process. Parties now want self determination. In the past one year, ADR is also embracing mediation.

“The Multi-Door Court House concept is to give lawyers an array of option. Lawyers are the big challenge in ADR. I always tell lawyers to ensure that they have two streams of income- ADR and litigation.”

Stressing the need for lawyers and journalists to have a workshop on ADR mechanisms, Mrs Etuk pointed out that ADR is not in place to supplant litigation. In her words: “We need mediation advocacy training for lawyers, to teach them what to do during mediation. In Africa, if you put in place for ADR, then investment begins to grow.”

She pointed out that there are various factors that could lead to failure in mediation, explaining “it could be that the mediator is not good enough. The dynamics of mediation is very volatile. Sometimes, it is even the parties that make mediation fail.”

Head of legal, National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Mr. Kinsgley Ejiofor, said money is needed to enable the agency do well.

“Inadequate funding of the implementing body. We need money to do this business. Without money, you cannot get some evidence that you need,” he added.

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