NSCDC moves to decongest prisons, trains personnel on alternative dispute resolutions

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In contribution to the efforts by the Federal Government and Nigeria Correctional Service to decongest prisons, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command has equipped its personnel with mechanisms to ensure that less severe matters do not get to courts.

No fewer than 175 of its agents were trained at a day seminar organised by Peace and Conflict Resolution Unit of the command in collaboration with Osun State Ministry of Justice and Justice Development and Peace Makers Centre for Area Commanders, Divisional Officers and Peace Desk Officers across the state command.

The seminar, themed: “Alternative Dispute Resolution: Impact on Peace of the Local Community,” featured several resource persons who fortified participants with nitty-gritty of Alternative Dispute Resolutions.

Speaking at the programme, the Zonal Commander in charge of Zone J of NSCDC, Quadri Saladin called on Peace and Conflict Resolutions Unit of the state command not to overburden courts of jurisdiction with civil matters that can better be resolved through the engagement of ADR.

In his speech, the state Commandant, Michael Adaralewa said the seminar was anchored on agenda of the Commandant General, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, who is passionate on massive training and retraining of officers at all levels for best global practice.

Represented by the Deputy Commandant of Corps, Dele Adesanya, Adaralewa noted that there is no better time than now to equip officers and men on the imports of ADR as there is an urgent need to curb congestion in correctional centres across the country.

‘’Apparently, today’s seminar is also a clarion call for peace, a period of enlightenment and intellectualism, a time to get equipped on handling civil matters because we now find ourselves in a society where matters of no relevance easily aggravate into a full blown dispute’,” Adaralewa said.

While delivering the lecture, a senior legal adviser to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Osun State, Debo Oladinni said dispute resolution is a crucial component in every facet of human life and one constant variable in society like change is dispute.

The legal practitioner explained that Alternative Dispute Resolution is any procedure for settling dispute by means other than litigation.

According to him, this approach is based on mutual agreement, confidential, timely and cost effective.

The second resource person at the seminar, Paul Kehinde Adetoro of Justice Development and Peace Makers Centre, Osogbo, said ADR which he referred to as “Appropriate Dispute Resolution” is an approach outside court process which is mainly for peace building in our society.

Adetoro,a lawyer, therefore enjoined security agencies to embrace ADR while handling civil matters as this would help them channel their energy on serious matters, noting that the approach promotes tolerance, peace and mitigates crimes and violence in the society.

The head of Crisis management department, Deputy Commandant of Corps Musa Ajiboye and unit head of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Assistant Commandant of Corps John Akinwolere, also corroborated the views of the speakers at the seminar, encouraging participants to put lessons learnt into use for better service delivery to the nation.