About Us

Bayelsa State Judiciary


Goals & Objectives

  1. To institute an independent judiciary that upholds equal justice and the Rule of Law.
  2. To provide effective, efficient and timely administration of justice accessible to all.
  3. To build public confidence in the judiciary to attract unimpeded access to justice.
  4. To provide a conducive working environment for those who dispenses justice.
  5. To provide quality justice administration through a robust case flow management system.
  6. Maintaining a zero tolerance approach to corruption.
  7. Ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of judicial resources.
  8. To synergise with other stakeholders for an effective justice delivery system
  9. Providing appropriate infrastructure and equipment using cutting-edge technology
  10. Striving for excellence.

"Our Vision is to become a World-class Judicial System in Bayelsa State"


The Bayelsa State Judiciary as an institution came into being as a result of State creation in 1996.  It began with six (6) High Court Judges namely, Late Hon. Justice K. D. Ungbuku who was the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Hon. Justice F. F. Tabai, Late Hon. Justice K. St. Sagbe and Late Hon. Justice F. K. C. Peters-Amain, Hon. Justice S. S. Alagoa and Late Hon. Justice E. J. Igoniwari with L. M. Boufini Esq. who served as the Pioneer Chief Registrar.  He was also the Chief Registrar of the Rivers State Judiciary at the creation of Bayelsa State.

Upon creation, the State Judiciary also had eight (8) Magistrates who were transferred from Rivers State in 1996 namely, Margaret I. Akpomiemie Esq., Kate Abiri Esq., D. A. Ayah Esq., Timi Cocodia Esq., I. Eradiri Esq., P. A. O. Eduoyemiekemo Esq., Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa Esq. and David Alagoa Esq.

Bayelsa State Judiciary had two (2) judicial divisions which are the Brass division with Hon. Justice E. J. Igoniwari as the presiding Judge and the Yenagoa division with Hon. Justice F. F. Tabai.  Sagbama division was later created in 1997.

Four years later, precisely 10th July, 2001, five (5) more judicial divisions were created: Nembe, Ogbia, Oporoma, Amassoma, Kaiama and Ekeremor. On the same day, the following places were designated as places of session.

Nembe Judicial Division: Nembe Ogbolomabiri and Nembe Bassambiri.

Ogbia Judicial Division: Ogbia Town, Oloibiri, Anyama.

Amassoma Judicial Division: Amassoma and Otuan.

Kaiama Judicial Division: Kaiama, Odi, Sabagreia.

Ekeremor Judicial Division: Ekeremor, Aleibiri.

Magisterial Districts

There were only three (3) magisterial districts located in Brass, Yenagoa and Sagbama at State creation.  They had various places of session:

Brass: Nembe, Oloibiri and Twon-Brass.

Yenagoa: Kolo, Oporoma, Peremabiri, Olugbobiri and Kaiama.

Sagbama: Ekeremor

So far, Ten (10) additional magisterial districts have been created which are: Kaiama, Ekeremor, Okolobiri, Kolo, Okordia/Zarama/Biseni, Nembe, Oporoma, Otuedu, Toru-Orua and Aleibiri bringing it to 13 magisterial districts in the last 27 years.

Customary Court Areas

In 1996, there were eight (8) areas namely: Akassa, Brass, Ekowe, Oloibiri, Onopa, Sagbama, Kaiama and Ekeremor.  Later, Emeyal, Anyama, Okodia/Zarama/Biseni, Amassoma, Okolobiri were created.

Judiciary Trajectory

From available records, about two hundred and fifty-nine (259) judicial and non-judicial staff came from the Old Rivers State to kick-start the Bayelsa State Judiciary.  Since inception, the Bayelsa State Judiciary has appointed about 31 Judges, for the High Court and Customary Court of Appeal, some of whom have been elevated to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

The Bayelsa State Judiciary so far has appointed about 40 Magistrates, some of whom were elevated to the Federal Bench as Hon. Judges.  In September 2007, there was an approval for the creation of the Customary Court of Appeal.  Thirteen legal practitioners were appointed as Chairmen of the Customary Court in 2013.  Worthy of note is that there have been Nine (9) Chief Registrars since inception: L. M. Boufini, Esq. (1996 – 1999), T. I. Cocodia, Esq. (1999 – 2002), I. Eradiri, Esq. (2002 – 2006), Y. E. Ogola, Esq. (2006 – 2009), I. A. Uzakah, Esq. (2009 – 2019), D. L. Opokuma, Esq. (2009 – 2023) (CCA), J. B. Lockie, Esq. (2019 – 2021), A.I Orukari, Esq (2022 – 2023), Ayibatari Mirin Johnson (2023 – till date) and Nethan Tengi Ibuama, Esq (2023 – till date)(CCA) Also, a total of Ten (10) Secretaries have served as Administrative Heads of the Judicial Service Commission, namely Chief S.E. Aveke (1996 – 2001) I. Eradiri, Esq. (2001 – 2001), P.A.O. Eduoyemiekemo, Esq.(2001- 2002), Y. E. Ogola Esq.(2002 – 2006), E. T. Okara Ineife, Esq. (2006 -2010), I.N. Oweibo Esq. (2010 – 2015). J. B. Lockie Esq. (2015 – 2019), A. I. Orukari, Esq. (2019 – 2021) Ayibatari Mirin – Johnson, Esq. (2021 – 2023), Abise Theophilus, Esq. (2023 – till date).

The following have served as members of the Judicial Service Commission from 1996 to date:

Chief W. A. Ogbara, R. I. Adire, Chief B. A. Mukoro, Sir T. J. R. Okara, C. J. Ayabowei Esq., Mrs. D. D. Ungbuku, C. A. Esi Esq., Chief Okobio, Chief F. D. Lott, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, Chief J. M. Asei, H.R.M. (Ambassador) Ayibakuro Ogidi-Oke and Mrs. Ine C. Serena-Dokubo, F. Zimugha, Esq and Makbere Osom Jacob Esq.


Hon. Justice K. D. Ungbuku, OFR became the Pioneer Chief Judge (1996 – 2003).

Hon. Justice F. F. Tabai was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1998 and then to the Supreme Court.

Hon. Justice F. K. C. Peters-Amain, acted as Chief Judge in October, 2001.

Hon. Justice S. S. Alagoa was also elevated to the Court of Appeal and later to the Supreme Court.

Hon. Justice E. J. Igoniwari was the Presiding Judge, of Brass Judicial Division and later the second Chief Judge of Bayelsa State (2003 – 2006).

L. M. Boufini Esq. was the Pioneer Chief Registrar, 1996 – 1999 and was appointed a High Court Judge.

Margaret I. Akpomiemie, Esq. became a Judge of the High Court and was Acting Chief Judge, between November 2006 – March 2008.

Kate Abiri, Esq. became a Judge of the High Court in 1997 and was sworn in March, 2008 as the third Chief Judge.

Hon. Justice D. A. Ayah, became the Pioneer President of the Customary Court of Appeal from 2009 and currently holds the position.

Timi Cocodia, Esq. became Chief Registrar (1999 – 2002) and is currently a High Court Judge.

I. Eradiri, Esq. became Chief Registrar (2002 – 2006) and is currently a High Court Judge.

Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, Esq was elevated as a Judge of the Federal High Court.

P. A. O. Edouyemiekemo, Esq. became the third Secretary, Judicial Service Commission and the Pioneer Acting Director of the Bayelsa State Multi-Door Court House.


The Bayelsa State Judiciary has made giant strides and witnessed remarkable development from infrastructural development, human capacity development and technological advancement in the last 27 years.  By our vision of being a world class judiciary, we are not yet where we desire to be, we are however not where we used to be.  We salute the courage of our heroes serving, retired and dead who made so much sacrifices for the steady development of the Bayelsa State Judiciary.


  • Justice K. D. Ungbuku (1996 – 2003).
  • Justice E. J. Igoniwari (2003 – 2006).
  • Justice Kate Abiri (CON) Life Bencher, DSSRS (2008 – 2023)
  • Justice M. A. Ayemieye (13th July, 2023 – till date).


  • Justice F. K. C. Peters-Amain (October, 2001).
  • Justice M. I. Akpomiemie (2006 – March 2008).
  • Justice M. A. Ayemieye (16th January 2003 – 13th July 2023).


Hon. Justice D. A. Ayah (2009 till date).


  • Justice K. S. T. Sagbe
  • Justice F. K. C. Peters-Amain
  • Justice F. F. Tabai (JSC)
  • Justice S. S. Alagoa (JSC)
  • Justice M. I. Akpomiemie (Rtd)
  • Justice T. A. Koroye
  • Justice G. S. Botei
  • Justice M. A. Adumein (JCA)
  • Justice B.M Ugo( JCA)
  • Justice L.M. Boufini (Rtd)
  • Justice N. Aganaba (Rtd)
  • Justice Y.E. Ogola (Rtd)


  • Justice A. Lewis Allagoa (FHC)
  • Justice Isele Iseimo (NIC)
  • Justice I. N. Oweibo (FHC)


  • M. Boufini Esq (1996 – 1999)
  • I. Cocodia Esq (1999 – 2002)
  • Eradiri Esq (2002 – 2006)
  • E. Ogola Esq (2006 – 2009)
  • A. Uzakah Esq (2009 – 2019)
  • L. Opokuma, Esq, (2009 – 2023) (CCA)
  • B. Lockie Esq (2019 – 2021)
  • I. Orukari Esq (2022 – 2023)
  • Ayibatari Mirin Johnson (2023 – till date)
  • Nethan Tengi Ibuama, Esq (2023 – till date) (CCA)