The Ogun State Judiciary on Wednesday began virtual proceedings to accelerate justice dispensation in the state.
The State Attorney General, Mr Gbolahan Adeniran, while speaking after virtual sitting at the High Court1 presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, stated that the process became necessary to speed up the judicial process as regards different cases before it.
He noted that the judicial process had been stalled due to the spread of coronavirus, hence the need for it to test and ensure that judicial proceedings are done partly online and partly physically in the courtroom.
The AG also added that judicial process in the country had to move towards an electronic management system, document management system and electronic proceedings.
He added that judicial staff would be trained on the new development for an effective and efficient system.
He said, “Today, Ogun State judiciary tested and ensured that we can host proceedings partly online and partly physically in the courtroom and this is to enable us to return to business because even though the coronavirus is here with us and even though it’s going to come and stay for some time, it cannot put an end to judicial proceedings because justice must always be present.
“It’s the only way to go and, even though before coronavirus, judiciary across the country should have been moving towards more electronic management system, document management system, electronic proceedings, being able to have witnesses and defendants attend or participate online and we are aspiring towards that.
“Now, today, what we did was proof of concept to show that it can work and indeed it worked. In order for it to expand to all phases of proceedings because as you can see to do a trial is a different thing. All the cases today were for mention but when it’s a full-blown trial, we also need to make sure that technology is available to support it.”
In his own submission, the Director of Public Prosecution, Olusegun Olaotan, commended the State Government for introducing technology into the criminal justice in the state.
“You know nothing is static in life, the coronavirus pandemic has brought out the ingenuity in us to look for a way out so we don’t keep criminals in detention perpetually. Nobody knows when this thing is going to leave us and does it mean as long as it is with us, we keep them there? So, this is an avenue for us to begin to work on their cases even though we are having the lockdown.
So, everybody in the state should be happy that we have this technology with us now. And it is not only for now, even after the lockdown, but it’s also a way for us to go. We have to make progress,” he added.