Worried by the high level of congestion of cases in Nigeria’s courts, the National Judicial Council, NJC, on Monday in Abuja moved further its quest to ensure quick delivery of justice to Nigerians with the delivery of a fully Retrofitted Court room to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The Retrofitted court room designed to ease the challenges militating against the speedy adjudication of cases in the country was commissioned for the use of the apex court by the Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
Delivering the Court to the CJN, the Chairman, Judiciary Information Technology, Hon Justice Kashim Zannah disclosed that it is one of the nine recently completed technological enhanced courtrooms across the country.
The Courts, Justice Zannah said, has been retrofitted with the latest cutting edge technology to enhance justice administration, towards providing Nigerians with fast, transparent and accessible justice system they deserve.
“This is in furtherance of a key plank of the National Judicial Policy which creates for the Judiciary a Charter of Commitment “to promote and ensure the highest possible standard of qualitative justice delivery”
Justice Zannah who is the Chief Judge of Borno State explained that the Retrofitted court room is an initiative of the National Judicial Council/JITPCO towards standardization of courtroom infrastructure nationwide; by integrating ICT into court processes in Nigeria.
“This is done by providing the latest audio-visual aids, recording and technological advances system as obtainable in most western courts worldwide.
“This retrofitted court is a sharp departure from our regular courts in Nigeria where power cut is a common feature and the attendant sweltering heat; and in some cases, the bar and the bench will have to use flash light from their mobile devices to read when it’s dark!.
“The courts are adequately provisioned with power backup system such that you are unlikely to notice any power cut.
The courts are designed with bespoke sound absorption acoustic panels to attenuate or completely eliminate all types of noise from entering the courtroom, this is to ensure clarity of spoken words in court, without echo and reverberations.
“We have a professional audio and video recording software solution that records from any type of source and enables full integration with court audio systems and court intranet.
It is flexible and scalable and equally reliable and robust. It captures all activities in the courtroom, with capability for playback and direct reference to the recording by court officials, even remotely.
“This is protected by world class firewall and security system to avoid unwarranted access.
The courts are equipped with all technology necessary to enable appearance of remotely located counsels, witnesses, as well as defendants in correctional facilities.
With the court, Justice Zannah disclosed that lawyers can argue their cases from any part of the world without physical appearance as being done at the moment.
The Chief Judge expressed optimism that the new efforts would not only ensure speedy justice delivery but would go a long way in decongesting and reducing the piled up cases in Courts.
He revealed that similar court rooms have been provided for the Court of Appeal, Federal High Court, National Industrial Court among others by the NJC and pleaded with the state governments to key into the new policy for the state judiciary.