Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa Judiciary on Thursday announced the commencement of Small Claims to handle debt recovery cases below N 5 million in two locations in Yenagoa to fast-track dispensation of justice.
The development is contained in a statement issued by Mr Julius Lambert Nyananyo, Head, Media & Information Department at Bayelsa Judiciary.
It will be recalled that the Bayelsa judiciary had on Jan. 4 inaugurated a five-member management committee to run the Small Claims Courts in Bayelsa.
According to the statement, the Small Claims Court is an innovation in the Nigerian legal system to help small business operators recover the debt owed for goods supplied.
“The Bayelsa State Judiciary under the leadership of the Hon. Justice Matilda Ayemieye, the Ag. Chief Judge has established the Small Claims Court in Bayelsa which commenced sitting on the 20th of March, at the Bayelsa State Multi-door Courthouse, High Court Complex, Ovom, Yenagoa and the Hon. Justice Koripamo David Ungbuku High Court complex, Onopa.
“The Small Claims Court is saddled with the responsibility of claim for money in any debt recovery action with a value not exceeding five million naira and can be filed at the Small Claims Court Registry located at Hon. Justice Koripamo David Ungbuku High Court complex, Onopa Yenagoa.
“The small claims court will assist businessmen and it does not have to go through a litigation system that may take longer time to reach a final decision,” Nyananyo stated.
Nyananyo further stated that the Small Claims Court is very affordable and easy to use as one does not need to have a lawyer to represent him or file his matter.
According to the statement, an individual, partnership, association or corporation can use a small claims court as cases are speedily dispensed, however, claimants/defendants must reside and do business in Bayelsa.
The Judiciary noted that the handbook and practice directions are available at the Bayelsa state judiciary and online at the judiciary website www.bayelsastatejudiciary.gov.ng.
It enjoined the general public to take advantage of the Small Claims Court.