The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen has said the gradual integration of ICT into court’s operations has help in improving the pace of justice dispensation in the country.
Justice Onnoghen spoke in Abuja yesterday at the opening session of the national workshop for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) staff of courts, put together by the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
The workshop has as its theme: “Information technology as a catalyst for effective justice administration.”
Represented by Justice John Okoro (of the Supreme Court), the CJN noted that the nation’s judiciary could no longer afford to operate without ICT deployment.
The CJN added: “The part to effective and efficient justice delivery in Nigeria lies in our ability to continuously improve our justice sector with the use of ICT tools.
“Thus, judicial administration around the world have imbibed the use of on-line legislation and case law, electronic filing system and the electronic service of court processes,” he said.
Justice Onnoghen noted that, in view of the importance of ICT to court’s operations today, the nation’s judiciary has developed and deployed the Nigerian Case Management System (NCMS).
He said the system allows the filing and service of court processes electronically as well as electronic archiving of probate records.
The CJN assured that the judiciary, under his watch, was committed to achieving lasting structural and ethical reforms that would reposition it to adequately meet the aspirations of court’s users for reliable, effective and efficient administration of justice, using ICT.
Justice Onnoghen, who recalled his recent directive that the Supreme Court will only serve processes by electronic means (e-main) in all matters, said from July 16, “all filings must bear counsel’s e-mail address.
“I implore all judges and lawyers to join this trend in this quest for excellence by subscribing to and acquiring the legal e-mail, as the manual form of communication within the Nigerian courts is gradually phasing out,” the CJN said.
Justice Onnoghen also urged court support staff to always be guided by the code of conduct for court employees and abstain from unethical conduct in order to retain public confidence in the system.
He said: “In our quest to birth the Judiciary we all desire, I must not fail to emphasize that in the daily discharge of your duties, the code of conduct for court employees must be your guide and standard.
“It is trite to note that it promotes the tenet of transparency, integrity and hard work among staff.
“In this light, you must shun all vices that easily beset you. Vices such as lateness to work, leaking of rulings and judgments as well as absenteeism from work without permission from superior authority must be avoided,” he said.
NJI Administrator, Justice Roseline Bozimo said the workshop was intended to facilitate capacity building and further skill acquisition for participants in the area of ICT.
Justice Bozimo noted that the workshop, to end on Friday, will feature presentations in area like Cloud computing, Internet of things (IOT) and the court’s Innovative tools or Dangerous fad, Office 365, Exchange online essential and Cyber security; Emerging threats and Mitigation strategies.