Governor Diri of Bayelsa State has raised the dike for effective court filing system with the introduction of Nigeria’s first Electronic Court Filing System. Inaugurating the renovated State High Court building at Onopa, Yenagoa, Governor Douye Diri also unveiled the new filing system. The structure was rebuilt in honor of the late Justice Koripamo David Ungbuku, who served as the state’s first chief judge.
Senator Diri commended Justice Kate Abiri, the departing Chief Judge of the state, for overseeing the project’s fast development and completion.The stunning new edifice and its cutting-edge design, according to Diri, show just how far the state judiciary has come while Justice Abiri has presided over it for the past 13 years.
Applauding the outgoing chief judge, Governor Diri, in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah wrote:
“I want to thank Justice Abiri for collaborating with the executive branch of government to provide excellent governance. The judiciary is a crucial component of our democracy in the eyes of our Prosperity Administration. And for this reason, we have kept on remitting payments to other branches of government without interruption. This friendly working relationship produced the results that we see today.
“This building bears the name of the late Justice Ungbuku. This, in my opinion, serves as a tribute to, and act of remembrance for those who have served our state. One of our former heroes in the Bayelsa State judiciary is Justice Ungbuku.”
Mr. Alabrah also quoted Senator Douye saying that the electronic document filing and work-based access to court files has become standard in many sophisticated jurisdictions across the world.
The governor praised the decision to honor Justice Ungbuku by renaming the courthouse, calling it an appropriate tribute to the late jurist who rendered outstanding service to the state. He also praised Justice Kashim Zana, the Chief Judge of Borno State, for helping the Bayelsa judiciary accomplish the achievement of boosting the speed of the administration of justice.
Finally, he recommended Engr. Iniebi Warikoru, a local contractor, to the state Ministries of Works and Housing and Urban Development for completing an excellent job.
Justice Abiri thanked Governor Diri for his administration’s assistance in her remarks, emphasising the fast transfer of funding for capital projects in the judiciary.
Benefits of the electronic filing system, according to the Chief Judge, cannot be overstated. He also noted that since training was already underway, members of the Bar and Bench were prepared to adopt the technology.
At the ceremony, Abiri—who also announced the practice direction—explained how the complex’s remodel—which added two new court rooms and 12 offices to the complex’s original 24 offices and two court halls—was completed in six months.
Justice Kashim Zana, the chief judge of Borno State, also made a statement. He said with the use of electronic filing technology, attorneys can now file cases from anywhere in the world that has internet access; facilitating the speedy administration of justice.
A prize from the National Judicial Council (NJC) would be awarded to the first attorney to use it, Justice Zana further declared.
The first son of the late Justice Ungbuku, Owendu Ungbuku, thanked the governor and Abiri for the honor bestowed upon his father, who he recalled served the state judiciary for six years after serving as the Rivers State Chief Judge for four years.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Okunbiriowei Saiyo, Mr. Larry Selekeowei (SAN), and Thompson Okpoko (SAN) also graced the occasion.