The Olowo of Owo, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr.) David Victor Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi III, has appealed to the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), to champion the cause of adjudication of customary cases in royal palaces, arguing that this will ensure prompt justice delivery and amicable settlement of disputes among members of given communities.
Oba Olateru-Olagbegi III stated this in his palace, on Thursday, March 14, 2013, when a team of staff from NICO South West Zonal office visited the ancient palace on a guided tour.
According to the Olowo, unless the Nigerian society traced back their root to the traditional conflict and dispute resolution system, which was hitherto an exclusive preserve of traditional rulers, who are the custodians of the people’s culture, the much-needed and talked-about culture of peace, unity, and harmonious living among different ethnic groups in Nigeria, will be a mirage.
He expressed displeasure on the removal of the powers to adjudicate civil cases, such as marital issues, land disputes, chieftaincy, and so on, from traditional rulers to the customary courts by the state laws, stressing that this had made it cumbersome and equally pose a hindrance for royal palaces to sit over cases in their domains.
The monarch gave a scenario, whereby a case already pending in the palace courts will be transferred to a State Customary Court by one of the litigants, without recourse to the royal palace, and appealed to all stakeholders in the culture sector, most especially NICO, which had the mandate of harnessing culture for national development, to facilitate a bill to the National Assembly seeking powers to adjudicate customary cases in royal palaces across the country.
As a show of appreciation for the visit, the Olowo presented a copy of his newly published book: In the Wilderness of Life: Travails and Triumphs of His Royal Highness, Oba David Victor Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi III, The Olowo of Owo Kingdom to the Executive Secretary, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, and the visiting NICO staff from the South West Zone.