The present Commission, upon its re-constitution, inherited a dysfunctional and weakened system, not only in the JSC, but also in the High Court and Customary Court of Appeal. It is pertinent, in this connection, to recall that upon the retirement from office of the former Chief Judge of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Iche N. Ndu, OFR, (Rtd) in August, 2013, a crisis ensued in respect of succession.  This left the Commission without a Chairman.  The culmination of the crisis was the closure of the Courts for a period of almost one (1) year from 10th June, 2014 to the 1st June, 2015.


With the re-opening of the Courts on the 1st of June, 2015, and the subsequent re-constitution of the Commission in July, 2015, the Commission met huge challenges in terms of degraded infrastructure and superstructure, not only in the High Court and Customary Court of Appeal, but also in the JSC itself.


a)      Key Appointments

With a view to tackling headlong the myriad critical challenges it met upon its re-constitution, the Commission, in July, 2015, made some changes in the administration of the Judicial Service Commission, the High Court and the Customary Court of Appeal.  In that regard, the following officers were  appointed to key administrative positions:-

1)      V. C. Ugoji, Esq. – Ag. Secretary, Judicial Service Commission.

2)      V. L. Kobani-Buzugbe, Esq.- Ag. Chief Registrar, High Court.

3)      Amobi Davidson, Esq. – Ag. Deputy, Chief Registrar (Admin), High Court.

4)      Promise Iroanya, Esq. – Ag. Chief Registrar, Customary Court of Appeal.

5)      Odiki Daniel-Kalio, Esq. – Ag. Deputy, Chief Registrar (Admin), Customary Court of Appeal.


The former Secretary of the JSC, and the former Chief Registrars of the High Court and Customary Court of Appeal were all re-deployed to the Magistracy.


It is noteworthy, perhaps, that the position of Deputy Chief Registrar (Admin), High Court, had, before this appointment by the JSC, remained vacant for many years.   


b)      Infrastructure

For the first time in its history, offices have been provided and furnished for the use of the four (4) non-statutory members of the Commission.  Other working tools, such as laptop computers and printers, have been provided for the Commissioners. 


In addition, there has been extensive repairs and replacement, where necessary, of office equipment which had developed defects or become unserviceable during the long hiatus.

Furthermore, a new 16-Seater Toyota Hiace bus has been procured for the use of the Commission.



c)      Public Enlightenment

The JSC is playing its part in a co-ordinated public enlightenment initiative spearheaded by the Ag. Chief Judge and Hon. Chairman of the Commission to grow awareness on the part of the general public of the workings of the Judiciary with a view to promoting public confidence in the Judicial Sector.  In this connection, the Commission has given approval for appointment of a Public Enlightenment Advisor to the Chief Judge pursuant to the extant provisions of the National Judicial policy, that is Public Notice No. 1 of September, 30, 2013 of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Cap N55, LFN, 2004 (Article 6 thereof).  


Furthermore, the JSC has procured, and has distributed, roll – up stands with inspiring messages aimed at correcting some of the prevailing misconceptions of the Judiciary and enhancing public confidence in the Judicial System.


d)      Computerised Identification and Biometrics Scheme

The Commission is undertaking a Computerized Identification and Biometrics Scheme which shall incorporate a Staff attendance tracking system.  This Scheme, which is complementary of other official initiatives in that regard, is aimed at eliminating the incidence of ghost workers in the Judiciary and producing an authentic and verifiable nominal roll of the Staff of the Judicial Service of the State.  Pursuant to this scheme, Staff have filled biometric forms and are now being captured for the purpose of issuing a special identification card, having been physically verified as part of the exercise.  The deployment of the Staff attendance tracking system, which is now in its first phase, will help in strengthening proper work ethic amongst staff, with particular focus on regularity and punctuality.