Wike Inaugurates Rivers Multi-Door Courthouse

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has inaugurated the State’s Multi-door Courthouse that will offer alternative resolution to litigations bothering on trade deals and social relationships.

At the inauguration, which took place at the Rivers State High Court Complex in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Wike said establishment of the Multi-door Courthouse is a further demonstration of his administration’s commitment to put in place a comprehensive judicial system that would serve the dispute resolution needs of businesses and investments in the state.

The governor maintained that the Multi-door Courthouse system will expand the doors and frontiers of effective justice delivery to the people with players in the business and investment community as the greatest beneficiaries.

He said, “Rivers State cannot but join the expanding jurisdictions across the world where the Multi-Door Courthouse system is becoming part of the dominant alternative to litigation and arbitration in the resolution of commercial disputes, including, even relationship conflicts.”

The governor reiterated the commitment of his administration to sustain the infrastructural transformation of the State, which he said has continued to attract investments and aiding some existing companies to expand their operations.

According to Governor Wike, expansion in business operations has naturally and inevitably, caused an increase in commercial and investment disputes that would require speedy, cost effective and mutually mediated and accepted resolutions in the State.

“This is more so, when businesses cannot continue to burden their book balances with huge litigation costs in the midst of declining revenues and profit margins occasioned by the downturns in our national economy.

“Furthermore, apart from being faster in relation to litigation, one of the profound advantages of mediation is that it preserves commercial relationships after the conflict, which is what every businessman or woman needs.”

He said his administration’s commitment to transforming the judicial system and make Rivers State a pre-eminent judicial hub in the southern region of Nigeria will continue as the State Executive Council approved the construction of a new magistrate court complex for the State as part of plans to decongest the State High Court premises.

“When completed, this complex will accommodate all the magistrate courts presently domiciled in the State High Court complex and free-up spaces to accommodate more High courtrooms and expand access to judicial services for our citizens,” he said.

The governor said his administration was deliberately prioritising the welfare and comfort of judicial officers and magistrates in the state, adding that a policy to provide status houses for every judicial officer of Rivers State origin, irrespective of the jurisdiction under which they are serving has been put in place.

The Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi said the Multi-door Courthouse System will regulate, encourage and strengthen the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism in Rivers State.

He said the core objectives of the Rivers State Multi-door Courthouse include enhancing access to justice by providing alternative mechanism to supplement litigation in the resolution of disputes, minimise frustrations and delay in the justice delivery system by providing a standard legal framework for fair and efficient settlement of disputes through alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR); and serve as the focal point for the promotion of alternative dispute resolution in Rivers state, and promote the growth and effective functioning of justice system through alternative dispute resolution methods.

Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Zacchaeus Adangor, said Rivers State now joins the league of over 15 other states of the federation to commence the operation of a Multi-door Courthouse.

The leader, Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Rivers State and former Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, President, Onueze Okocha, SAN, said the core reason for the establishment of the Multi-door- Courthouse system is for the speedy delivery of justice and access to justice.

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