Lawyers advocate improved internet services for successful virtual court hearing

lawyers in Ibadan called for improvements in the internet services across the society in order to achieve in virtual court hearing.

The lawyer in separate interviews, spoke on the effort of judges geared toward conducting virtual court hearing in the country in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mr Johnson Akintayo, the Chairman, Bar Association (NBA), Ibadan branch, said Nigeria could not afford to continually lag behind among the committee of nations, especially in judicial matters.

Akintayo added one of the aspects of the COVID-19 was the fact it facilitated the conduct of court hearings through the virtual or internet, which many countries of the world had since adopted.

”It is no longer news COVID-19 has affected almost all aspects of our lives, including court processes, hence, the need to avoid physical presence.

”However, the question to ask is: are we truly prepared for the use of virtual court hearing?

”The answer is no, due to infrastructure challenges. But we cannot remain on one spot while the rest of the world is on the move.

”Adequate technology would drive the virtual initiative be in if court processes on internet move to the next level.

”Also, there should be regular training of the like judges, lawyers and supporting judiciary staff members that could aid the ,” Akintayo opined.

The NBA branch chairman said the call for an amendment to the constitution the deployment of the ICT initiative was unnecessary.
According to him, the judicial system cannot be left to remain stagnant.

He further said that although criminal trials required physical appearance of the accused persons in courts so that the judges could read their countenance, there be a way out of the problem.

The legal practitioner stated that with virtual hearing in the nation could move forward.
Also, a former Attorney-General and for Justice in Oyo State, Mr Ojo, stated that the epileptic nature of the internet facilities in the society was worrisome.

”A situation in which there is constant fluctuation in internet services can be discouraging and may continue to cause delays in hearing.

”However, I strongly believe that things will improve with time, if we continue the experiment,” Ojo stated.

NAN recalls that judges of the Federal High court were recently directed to commence the use of virtual court hearing in adjudication of court processes. (NAN)