COVID-19: CLASFON Lauds Judiciary for Embracing Technology in Administration of Justice

The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria, CLASFON, has lauded moves by the  Nigerian judiciary to embrace technology in the administration of justice in COVID -19 era. 

In a communique issued at the end of its virtual meeting, the group noted that the Coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted on access to justice, given the protocols on the prevention of the spread of the pandemic. 

The communique jointly signed by Mr. Arome  Okwori and 

Mr. Olatunji  Omole, President and  National Secretary of CLASFON respectively, 

commended the recent adoption of virtual court hearings, describing it as  a welcome development.

It however called for a better and coordinated approach for the adoption of the system to ensure the administration of justice in the COVID-19 era. 

The communique noted that  COVID-19 presents a challenge for the administration of justice in Nigeria, which must be handled proactively with despatch since issues relating to law and justice are dynamic.

“CLASFON considers seamless access to justice a sine qua non for any society desirous of peace and progress.

“The recent COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted on access to justice given the restriction of movement and  social distancing” the communique. 

According to the communique, COVID -19 pandemic “presents a challenge for the administration of justice system in Nigeria which must be handled proactively and with despatch since issues that relate to law and justice are dynamic.”

It said “CLASFON commends the moves so far made by the Judiciary in Nigeria in embracing virtual court hearings, but calls for a better coordinated approach in that regard”. 

The communique further called  on the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Council for Legal Education, “to make provisions for the new normal by arranging the inclusion of basic ICT courses in the syllabuses of university and Nigerian Law School students.”

It also  lamented the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of  Universities, ASUU, and the failure of the federal government to resolve the issues. 

CLASFON maintained that the sustenance of every government and the future of every nation can only be assured by the quality of education from the citadels of learning.

“CLASFON finds the silence and inaction of the federal government in resolving this dispute is very worrisome given that many months in the school year has been crippled and affected by COVID-19 pandemic/lockdown, the prospect of another prolonged unresolved industrial action upon reopening of schools will be quite devastating...

“CLASFON, therefore, called on all parties to the dispute to quickly resolve their differences so as not to further disrupt the academic calendar of the university system once we overcome the COVID-19 challenge.”

The communique decried the rising cases of rape  and gender based violence and urged the federal and state governments to take urgent measures, including legal, legislative and social measures  to deal with the problem.