Small Claims Judicial Committees have been established by the Oyo and Rivers State Government Judiciaries to create Small Claims Courts in their respective States.
This was said in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Special Advisor to the President on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
She claims that the states and PEBEC are collaborating to set up the small claims court.
Through the development of Small Claims Courts in many states, it has improved justice for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs).
According to Oduwole, the objective of the court is to improve the judicial process by making it easier to resolve simple debt recovery disputes involving small claims of N5 million and below.
She said: “Judgements are expected to be delivered within 60 days for all claims filed in a Small Claims Court, with an additional 30 days for enforcement.
“The court also strongly encourages self-representation and adheres to strict timelines for important court events.
“ So far, Small Claims Courts have been established in Lagos, Kano, Edo, Ogun, Ekiti, Jigawa, and Nasarawa States.’’
Oduwole said the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, inaugurated the Small Claims Judicial Committee for the establishment of the court in Oyo State on Nov. 22.
She said while inaugurating the committee, the judge emphasised the importance of Small Claims Courts in expediting simple financial cases.
“Abimbola later charged the committee, to be chaired by Justice O.S. Adeyemi, to diligently carry out its mandate in accordance with the PEBEC guidelines and submit its report within 14 days.”
According to Oduwole, the Chief Judge of the Rivers State Judiciary, Justice Simeon Amadi, similarly inaugurated a committee on Nov. 4 to oversee the creation of the court in the state.
“During the inauguration, the Chief Judge of Rivers State Judiciary, asserted that even though the state appeared to be starting late in establishing the court, it is spurred to start well and overtake others who started earlier.
“The Committee will be chaired by Justice C. D. Green,’’ she said.
President Muhammadu Buhari founded PEBEC in July 2016 with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo serving as the Council’s chairman. PEBEC was created to eliminate crucial bureaucratic barriers and hindrances to conducting business in Nigeria.
Since 2017, it has continued to work with subnational administrations, especially the State Judiciary, to put reforms into place that will make it simpler for businesses to conduct operations in all 36 of the Federation’s States and the Federal Capital Territory.