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Monday, February 6, 2023

‘We struggling to cope with complaints’ – LAB Executive Director

HomeAYV News‘We struggling to cope with complaints’ - LAB Executive Director

‘We struggling to cope with complaints’ – LAB Executive Director

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The ADR Officer, Reverend Bob-Kandeh said they mediate an average of 13 to 15 complaints per day. ‘We mediate a vast array of cases a day,’ he said. ‘I mediated fourteen complaints by the closed of business today. They range from benefit claim to wage, maintenance, estate, family and marital matters’

Reverend Bob- kandeh also disclosed that the ADR service receives at least fifteen complaints from members of the public per day. ‘We received a complaint from Kambia and we had to refer it to our Port Loko office.’

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said that confidence in the quality of service provided by the Board’s ADR is growing in leaps and bounds.  She attributed this to the fact that the service is free and speedy. ‘We mediate complaints in a matter of hours or days,’ she said. ‘What’s more, we reconcile the parties unlike what obtains in the courts. We have resolved matters which have taken years in the courts.’

According to Ms. Carlton-Hanciles the police and the courts are also referring matters to the Board for mediation. ‘We have both the police and the Magistrate court in Bo referring matters to us in a single week,’ she said. ‘Our message on matters the police should not be handling is gradually sinking down and this is increasing the pressure on us. The police are gradually shying away from matters relating to debt and land because it has been made clear that they should not be handling.’

She also disclosed that the Board is under pressure from those who are having problems with their lawyers or can no longer afford to pay for their legal services. ‘As we speak, some 150 former employers of the African Minerals are requesting legal assistance from the scheme even though they have a lawyer,’ she noted. 

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said that the Board will be establishing a second ADR service in the Freetown office to cope with the ever increasing numbers seeking the service. In addition, an office will be opened in Waterloo to service those in that part of the Western Area.

Meanwhile, Ms. Carlton-Hanciles has continued his call on the judiciary and the police to join the Board in reducing the prison population. ‘We are still struggling to address the overcrowding in our prisons and cells inspite of our best efforts,’ she said. ‘I am deeply concerned with this state of affairs and would therefore like to call on the judiciary and the police to take the necessary steps to reduce the remand population in our detention facilities across the country.’

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