As The Courts Are Set To Be Digitalized

Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria
Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria

Those who may have been disillusioned by the slow pace of justice delivery in Nigeria may be cheery at the recent digitalization policy initiative of the justice sector by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The initiative, which would take effect from July 16th 2018, would eliminate all forms of manual communication within the Nigerian courts. Under the initiative, all court processes on all matters would be served through electronic means. This, according to the CJN, would entail that ‘lawyers who have acquired the legal email can now communicate electronically with the Courts and with each other as this would help to harness  the benefits of the system in terms of confidentiality, integrity and availability”.

In his reaction, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Abubakar  Mahmoud, SAN, noted that the ‘ policy is overdue and critical for moving the justice system forward.” He added that the step would reduce paper work, speed up the court process and improve the administration of justice.

Watchers in the Judiciary argue that, perhaps, this is a step towards the implementation of the Judicial information technology policy of the Nigerian Judiciary, which was launched in 2012, aimed at integrating Information and Communication Technology, ICT, in to the judicial system.

Analysts have lauded the CJN for taking such step considering that the world is on the fast lane of digitalisation and the integration of ICT into the judicial process has, to a large extent, brought efficiency in the way Court processes are handled the world over and Nigeria must key in.

More so, considering the palpable delays and bottlenecks most times being experienced in Nigerian court system, which is the bane of the huge number of awaiting trial inmates in Nigerian prisons, observers believe that whatever initiative that can bring the much desired effectiveness and efficiency in the system, is most welcome.

When the electronic emailing system finally comes into force in the next few months, observers are keen to monitor its impact in fast tracking the process of justice delivery in the Nigerian courts.

culled

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