Delta State Judiciary has taken a bold and deliberate step to achieve speedy dispensation of justice as it acquires modern equipment for courts to take a record of proceedings electronically.

The Chief Judge of Delta State, Honourable Justice Tessy Diai made this disclosure during the Bar/Bench Forum meeting held at the Nigerian Bar Association House, Asaba. 

The meeting was attended by various branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, state High Court and Customary Court of Appeal judges, Revenue Court judges, Magistrates, Area and District Customary Courts chairmen, and stakeholders in the administration of justice. 

Justice Diai who expressed concern over the low turnout of lawyers to all the meetings held since her assumption of office stated that the recording and transcribing equipment have been installed at High Court 1 and 2, Asaba, and would be test run in the coming week.

The Chief Judge commended all for attending the last forum meeting for the year, saying that after a successful test run the process would be replicated in all judicial divisions of the High Court, adding it would save judges the labour of taking proceedings manually and thereby make an expeditious recording of proceedings possible.

She particularly thanked Chike Onyemenam as the only SAN who has consistently attended the Asaba zone of the Bar/Bench Forum meeting.

Listing one of the advantages of the meeting that was held simultaneously in Asaba and Warri, the number one Judicial Officer of the state explained that the forum was a better place to discuss issues than writing petitions, reiterating that judges who are impartial arbiters and lawyers, deserved reciprocal respect.

During the interactive session, issues of dereliction of duties by court staff, security/vandalisation of court facilities, posting of call duty policemen to all the courts to protect lives and properties during and after court proceedings, and delay by magistrates to assign cases and getting records of proceedings of judgment by counsel were brought to the fore.

On the issue of bail by magistrates, the Chief Judge maintained that magistrate courts cannot grant bail on the offences they were bereft of jurisdiction, pointing out that when the new Administration of Criminal Justice Law passed by the Delta State House of Assembly has been assented to by the Governor, the controversy surrounding bail would be put to rest.

On a letter of administration for persons who died intestate, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal (PCCA), Honourable Justice Patience Elumeze, stated that the five percent of the deceased estate fee should only be paid to the state government treasury and get a relevant receipt.  

The PCCA warned that on no account should clients or counsel, as the case may be, pay a such fee into the personal account of any court staff.

Chairmen of the various branches of the Nigerian Bar Association and Chike Onyemenam, SAN, commended the Chief Judge for the furnishing and massive renovation work going on at all the courts, and unprecedented digitisation of the Judiciary. 

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