Senator Bamidele reveals how virtual court proceedings can transform judiciary
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has said that the adoption of virtual Court proceedings into the country’s administration of justice will transform that arm of government.
Bamidele, who represents Ekiti Central Senatorial District, said it will bring a radical paradigm shift to the sector via quick dispensation of justice and injection of technology into jurisprudence, as obtainable in the advanced world.
Bamidele is sponsoring a bill seeking adoption of virtual proceedings in courts, which is now awaiting second reading at the upper legislative chambers of the National Assembly.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, elucidating more on the intention behind the bill, Bamidele said the method would help in quick administration of justice in times of emergency like lockdown being imposed in every state owing to COVID-19 spread.
Bamidele applauded the Federal High Court for adopting virtual proceeding as a norm and practice direction in 2020, saying this would help in breaking the barrier of unwarranted delay of judicature.
The federal Lawmaker said technology, all over the world, has become a potent instrument of standardization, fast-tracking delivery of judgements on cases pending in courts for smooth running of government and stability of the society.
“Technology has been adopted as an instrument for speedy delivery of judgements on cases in advanced nation. Many cases were being heard through teleconference and judgements passed through same route.
“Apart from decongesting our courts, it helps during emergency situations as we are experiencing under coronavirus pandemic.
“One can imagine how our country and the world at large would have been if the judiciary is suspended as being witnessed in other arms of government.
“Judiciary as an artist of government must move with the tide. As a way of complying with social distancing policy of governments under COVID-19, President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Executive Council now holds weekly FEC meeting through virtual means, so that the nation will not suffer good governance.
“The same method has been adopted by governors in many states and I see no reason why the judiciary can’t adopt same to entrench the rule of law in the system, because one can’t get justice when activities of courts are suspended indefinitely, because justice delay is justice denied.
“Judiciary is the bastion of democracy and the rule of law. It is the foundation on which other sectors rest and rotate and impunity reigns supreme when that arm can no longer perform its functions and that is why virtual proceeding is expedient to save our nation from anarchy in times of emergency like this.”
Bamidele commended the Senate for the speedy consideration of the bill and for embracing it.
The parliamentarian appealed to the executive arm to quickly assent to it for it to become a legal practice when passed by the legislature.
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