The Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, has urged members of the Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters to effectively discharge their responsibilities with integrity in resolving chieftaincy disputes.
Speaking recently during the commencement of a three-day orientation and induction course for members of the Standing Tribunal at Ikeja, as part of efforts to reduce disputes and acquaint members with the Chieftaincy Laws of the State, the Commissioner explained that the orientation programme is to acquaint the tribunal members with expectations on their roles and responsibilities as well as enhance their preparedness for the task ahead.
In his remarks, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), said the tribunal was set up several years ago because of incessant chieftaincy disputes occasioned by the demise of a traditional ruler and the need to fill the vacant stool.
He disclosed that the purpose of the tribunal is to help in managing such disputed crises and bring about amicable solutions to thorny issues, adding that the tribunal will serve as a bridge between the government and parties involved in chieftaincy issues.
Earlier, the Chairman, Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Justice Titilola Ojikutu-Oshode (Rtd) stated that the induction and orientation programme is a requirement for the effectiveness of the tribunal, in view of the fact that many members of the tribunal are not legal practitioners.
According to her, the induction course and orientation will enable tribunal members realise and recognise the enormity of their responsibilities; learn more about the terms of reference given to the tribunal; provide tribunal members with basic skills required to be competent and effective; provide ‘in-court’ observation of court practice and other aspects of pleadings, filing, representation and judgment processes among others.
She listed members of the tribunal as Engr. Jimoh Folorunso Kazeem, Mrs. Mariam Bolanle Olaniyi, Mr. Nojeeb Ola Agunbiade and Chief Oladapo Akinshola, while the training facilitators include Justice Habeeb Abiru of the Appeal Court, Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the High Court of Lagos and Justice Olusola Williams, a retired Justice of the High Court.
The Standing Tribunal of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters had been holding public hearings since its inception in 2001 and had handled over 50 chieftaincy cases since 2014 when the current Chairman took over.