Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Ministry of Justice, Abia State, has recorded a major milestone following the digitalisation of the state laws.
This, according to the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of the state, Mr Ikechukwu Uwanna, will quicken the process of justice dispensation in the state.
The Commissioner who spoke during the inauguration of the state Integrated Information Communication Technology – ICT Work Station, said the innovation was one of the efforts of the Gov. Alex Otti-led administration to launch e-governace in the state.
He expressed shock that prior to the emergence of Gov Otti, the laws of Abia State had been scattered in different places and difficult to locate.
According to him, the idea behind the establishment of the Work Station is to make access to the state laws very easy for all.
Regretting that the laws of Abia State were last updated in 2005, the Commissioner explained that the digitalisation of the state laws had put Abia ahead of other states in the e-governace map.
“Upon assumption of office as Attorney General, I found out that the laws of the state were last updated in 2005. We have our laws scattered everywhere. So, having access to them was very difficult. I kept running around trying to find where to locate each law. So, we tried to locate a law App provider to help us digitalise our laws, and I’m glad the dream has come true.”
He said that the centre would help protect the confidentiality of sensitive Government legal documents which the Ministry had hitherto, produced at business centres.
“What motivated me is that Gov. Otti wants things done the right way. We are talking of e-governace and the Ministry of Justice will take the lead. This is part of the dream to digitalise governance in the spirit of the New Abia,” he added.
He commended Gov. Otti for his massive support to the judiciary, adding that the Governor has given cars to Judges in the state.
The Commissioner also noted with delight that the salaries of judges and Magistrates as well as other judiciary workers have been coming regularly.
In a remark, the State Director of Legal Services, Mrs Ajuike Uwaoma, said that “the Work Station is a one-stop shop where lawyers in the Ministry can comfortably work in having access to all the facilities they need to function effectively.”
She further said: “Before now we used to go to the Business Centres, and the risk with that particular exercise was that we were exposing very crucial legal sensitive Government documents.
“Our lawyers will now come here to do their legal processes, and that speeds up the process of justice dispensation. It helps one to access Abia laws with ease, and it has anotation of cases that have been decided based on the laws.”
Mrs Uwoma who said that Abia was the second state after Lagos to digitalise her laws, said due process was followed in selecting the contractor that executed the project.
The station has computer sets with printers and other gadets including internet access and 24-hour solar power supply.
Speaking also, the law App provider, Mr Edward Kanu, described the station as a legacy project, saying that Abia has become the first state in the South-East to digitalise her laws.
The contractor whose firm also supervised the digitalisation of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Umuahia, commended the current administration in Abia for its drive for e-governace.
Mr Kanu who advocated the digitalisation of other Ministries, said that Abia had finally been set on the path of reclaiming her lost glory.
Meanwhile, Wife of the State Governor, Mrs Priscilla Otti, expressed delight that Abia had keyed into digitalisation of laws which according to her, is the way to go.
The First Lady said her husband had come to change the narrative and launch Abia into the comity of performing states.