Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has formally inaugurated a technology-driven Family Court at the High Court Complex in Port Harcourt.
The occasion also witnessed the unveiling of the “Family Court Rules, the Guide,” and a book titled “The Child, Ethics and the Law: A Simplified Law Guide for Children and Young Persons,” written by the wife of the Governor and Presiding Judge of the Family Court, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike.
Wike stated that now that Rivers State has joined the league of states with Family Court, he would fully support the court, even if its establishment is coming about 13 years after the State House of Assembly domesticated the Child’s Rights Act in 2009. The law makes provisions for establishment of the Family Court.
In her speech, Justice Nyesom-Wike explained that the essence of child-friendly justice is reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration. She stated that under the Family Court system, “the court is obliged to listen to children, consider their views and ensure their participation and protection in the process, whether as victims, witnesses or offenders.”
Justice Nyesom-Wike stated that the Family Court functions in Port Harcourt in four jurisdictions with two High Court judges and two Magistrates. According to the judge, the Family Court is expected, as the need arises and resources permit, to spread to all the local government areas of the state to ease access to justice.