In its bid to ensure speedy dispensation of Justice in Lagos, the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration is set to commence the digitisation of court proceedings in the State.
Speaking at the first virtual Bar-Bench Forum Y2021 held recently, the Lagos State Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) noted that the Coronavirus pandemic affected the commencement of the digitisation of the Courts as proposed in 2020 but would commence in October 2021.
He said government has put in place plans to digitise 10 selected Courtrooms in the first phase later in the year, adding that the courtrooms will be equipped with the latest technology to assist judges and counsel during court proceedings.
“The digitisation will ensure speedy dispensation of Justice to the citizens of the State, which is paramount to the State government. The digital reform would eradicate all forms of paperwork and also enhance the status of Lagos courtrooms among others”, Onigbanjo said.
While speaking on the theme “The Aftermath of #EndSARS Protest and Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic in the Justice System: Update on Efforts Made so Far”, the Commissioner urged participants that virtual sitting should be embraced by all, noting that it has been ruled by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to be constitutional, declaring that the rest of the world is moving on through the use of virtual sitting.
Speaking on the destruction of Court buildings in the State during the #EndSARS protest, Onigbanjo informed the gathering that the State Government had made budget provisions to renovate the destroyed High Courts and Magistrate Court buildings in the next quarter of the year, adding that the government would also be providing eight courtrooms at Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, by the end of April to ease the effect of the destroyed court buildings in the State.
In his contribution, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba said the Judiciary will be investing more in the digitisation and Information Communication Technology-based initiatives in all their legal engagements, maintaining that the digitisation of court proceedings will enhance speedy justice delivery in the sector.
While noting that the backlog of pending cases at both the State Magistrate and High Courts have been identified and will be looked into accordingly, Alogba appreciated the efforts of the State Government in identifying the effect of the #EndSARS incident on the Judiciary and ensuring that they function well in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Virtual Bar-Bench parley also had in attendance the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata; Solicitor- General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-bey, State Counsels and Media Practitioners.