Bayelsa State yesterday recorded a first in Nigeria to launch electronic court filing system, to quicken the process of litigation and justice administration in the state.
The reconstructed complex is named after the pioneer Chief Judge of the state, late Justice Koripamo Ungbuku.
Governor Douye Diri, while launching and inaugurating the new filing system remodelled State High Court complex at Onopa, Yenagoa, congratulated the state’s retiring Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, for the construction and completion of the project in record time.
Governor Diri said the electronic filing of documents and work-based access to court materials has become common place in many developed jurisdictions around the world.
Lauding Justice Abiri for outstanding 13 years of service as Head of the state’s judiciary, Governor Diri said the new structure with its modern design is a mark of how the state judiciary has progressed under her watch.
He also commended the Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zana, for assisting Bayelsa judiciary achieve the feat to ensure speedy administration of justice.
The Governor said it was fitting that the remodelled court complex was named after Justice Ungbuku, as a mark of honour to the late jurist who served the state meritoriously.
In a remark, Justice Kate Abiri expressed gratitude to Governor Diri for his support, particularly prompt release of funds for capital projects in the judiciary.
The Chief Judge said the benefits of the electronic filing process cannot be over-emphasized, noting that members of the Bar and Bench were ready to embrace the technology as training was already ongoing.
Justice Abiri, who also unveiled the practice direction at the event, said remodelling of the complex, which originally had two court halls and twenty-four offices, was concluded within 6 months, equipped with additional 2 new court halls and 12 offices.
Also, Borno State Chief Judge, Justice Kashim Zana, said with the electronic filing technology and internet connection, lawyers can file their cases anywhere in the world to aid quick dispensation of justice.
Justice Zana also announced that the first lawyer to utilize it will win the National Judicial Council prize.
Responding, first son of late Justice Ungbuku, Owendu Ungbuku thanked Governor Diri and Justice Abiri for the honour done to his father, who served the state judiciary for six years after been the Rivers State Chief Judge for four years.
Goodwill messages were also delivered by the State Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Okunbiriowei Saiyo, Mr. Larry Selekeowei (SAN) and Thompson Okpoko (SAN).