The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola; and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Haliru Nababa, among other top government officials, attended the launch ceremony at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
In his remarks, the Justice Minister stated that the scheme will minimize court case backlogs and time spent on suspect pre-trial detention.
Malami believes that virtual court proceedings will help the country’s criminal justice system run more smoothly.
“This project, therefore, initiated to ensure the hearing and determination of urgent and time-bound cases using the digital platforms,” he said.
“This system will effectively ensure the speedy dispensation of trials in line with Section 36 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended which provides that every person shall be entitled to fair hearing within a reasonable time.”
Leticia Ayoola-Daniels, the Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Reforms and Decongestion, said the virtual court sessions will supplement the nation’s judiciary’s previously existing virtual court facilities.
She explained that the action will expedite the resolution of court proceedings, saving the Federal Government money on security and bringing accused people to court.
The initiative was launched after the Federal Government collaborated with the UN Development Program and the Japanese government.