We’ve fully deployed ADR to fast-track justice, says Bayelsa chief judge

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Kate Abiri, the chief judge of Bayelsa, on Wednesday said that the state judiciary has fully harnessed the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism to decongest cases and enhance the dispensation of justice.

Ms Abiri stated this while inaugurating the Bayelsa Multi-Door Courthouse (BMDC) governing council at the Bayelsa Judiciary Headquarters, Yenagoa.

According to her, BMDC is the court connected to the ADR centre of the High Court of Justice in Bayelsa.

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“The idea of providing disputants with the mechanisms of resolving their issues in ways other than the adversarial adjudications via litigation and an expeditious manner has caught on worldwide and spread through the judiciary nationwide.

“Today, I am pleased to declare that the BMDC is set for a full-fledged operation, with the passing of its bill into law by the State House of Assembly and the eventual assent of the law in April 2022 by Executive Governor of Bayelsa, Sen. Douye Diri. The BMDC Law has been gazetted, and its practice direction is set to be unveiled,” Ms Abiri said.

Ms Abiri chairs the nine-member governing council.

Also, Briyal Dambo, SAN, Commissioner for Justice; Justice Raphael Ajuwa, ADR Judge 1; Justice Ebiegberi Omukoro, ADR Judge 3; Justice S.W. Smaduuobogha, ADR Judge 3, among others, are members.

Responding shortly after the inauguration on behalf of the governing council members, Mr Dambo applauded the chief judge for actualising the full operation of the BMDC, which commenced in 2009.

Mr Dambo described the full implementation of ADR in Bayelsa as a new vista and noted, “It is better to jaw-jaw than litigate”. 

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