24th July, 2021
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would be breaking a new frontier in the judiciary when he launches Africa’s first court recording.
Africa’s first court recording system which will be launched on Monday, July 26th will eliminate most manual proceedings and speed up court judgments.
The Court recording system will also eliminate writing in longhand by Nigerian judges and ensure the commuting of inmates daily to court.
Osinbajo who has pioneered technological advancement in the judiciary from his time as Attorney General of Lagos will again take the lead on the continental stage.
Prof. Osinbajo while speaking on the topic of virtual court proceedings in Nigeria at the Gavel webinar on September 3, 2020, said, “Reporting of court proceedings is a crucial exercise of the right to a fair hearing, a cornerstone of which is that hearings must be held in public.
“How that right will be given full expression when court proceedings are within the encrypted confines of virtual platforms is really the subject of our conversion today.
“The Attorneys General of Lagos and Ekiti States deserve our commendation for bringing the matter before the Supreme Court.
“They asked the court to determine whether having regard to the constitutional requirement that court proceedings, save for some exceptions, must be held in public and whether court hearings by the use of technology, by remote hearings of any kind, whether Zoom or WhatsApp, Microsoft Themes, Skype or any other audio-visual or video-conference platform are constitutional.”
Osinbajo noted that “The Supreme Court while dismissing the suits themselves as premature and speculative nevertheless said that as things stood today virtual proceedings were Constitutional. This wise approach of the Court probably saved our system of justice another catastrophic round of technical decisions around the constitutionality of virtual proceedings.”
The Vice President added that “It may also be cautiously taken as a signal that the Supreme Court expects the lower courts to go down this new path with as little attention to technicality as possible.
“So, we are at a point where at least we know that virtual hearings are legal. This means that the Supreme Court is satisfied that appropriate means can be found to ensure that hearings are public and that the press and indeed members of the public can access the proceedings.”
The event which will be held virtually will also have in attendance Honourable Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, President of the Court of Appeal.
Also in attendance is the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Funmi Quadri, Principal of Funmi Quadri SAN & Co; Olumide Akpata, President of Nigerian Bar Association and Haliru Nababa, Comptroller General of Nigeria Correctional Services.