• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Virtual Court Sitting at High Court Justice No. 1, Asaba

Virtual Court Sitting at High Court Justice No. 1, Asaba

History was made on the 1st day of June 2022 in the Delta State Judiciary and possibly in the entire Nigerian Judiciary.
The first Virtual Court Hearing took place today in High Court 1, Asaba with the Chief Judge, Honorable Justice T. O. Diai, presiding.

This was in a personal injury case, Suit No. A/176/2018: Mrs. Chika M. Orji And Akwa Ibom Transport Company Company Limited & Another. The suit was commenced in the Asaba Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice, Delta State on the 25th day of October 2018.

With the aid of technology, the Claimant, Mrs Chika Orji testified from the comfort of her home in Lagos State, via Remote Hearing (Zoom). Before now, the Claimant was unable to come down to Asaba as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic accident that left her incapacitated – cause of action. The matter had therefore been delayed for some time for this reason.

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The Claimant testified as if she was physically present in the open court. Led by her counsel, Mr. Caleb Ekene Onwe, she identified and adopted her written statement on oath and also identified the documents referred to in her written statement remotely before they were admitted in evidence. Upon conclusion of her evidence in-Chief, the counsel for the 1st Defendant, Goodnews N. Njoku cross-examined the Claimant. With the conclusion of the testimony of the Claimant, the case of the Claimant closed and the matter was then adjourned for Defence to open.
The entire session took less than an hour.

This feat was however made possible through the I. T. innovations introduced under the dynamic leadership of the Delta State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice T. O. Diai. There is in the court a 50-inch Smart TV, which enabled the participants in the court to view the Claimant while giving her testimony. There is also a laptop used by the System Administrator to store materials for the case and a desktop (All-in-one) used by the presiding Judge. All these and more were bought with funds approved by the Chief Judge and under the dynamic administration of His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Governor of Delta State.
At least, eight (8) participants were admitted into this first Session and were able to watch history being made firsthand.

In the development strides of the State Chief Judge, there is also a second court in Asaba with the same capability to host Remote Hearings and with this the issue of delay in any trial because a witness is unable to attend court or lives overseas is now a thing of the past. We can only expect more to happen in the nearest future with more courts having the same capability to host Remote Hearings.
Delta State Judiciary is set to provide excellent service to the generality of the Public in the State and beyond.