By Bayo Akinlade Esq

My conclusion here is simple: the Judiciary as an arm of government is unapologetically lazy and are the reason for the failure of our justice system (the lawyers are helping in the system failure).

Have you seen an Executive Council meeting where the president or governor says: “wait a minute, let me write this down”. Have you seen a Senate President or Speaker of the House of Assembly write proceedings down? They all have recorders and others taking the notes. The Judiciary now has Judicial Assistants and other clerical staff but prefer to sit 7 hours to hear 10 to 20 cases per day.

Why is the Judiciary afraid of recorders, videos, stenographers etc.

What is the monster in technology that the Judiciary won’t embrace.

Let me tell you what I think. I think that the Bench is afraid, they don’t TRUST anyone ..not even Mr. AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Many of our judges (all level of courts) are of the technology era but do things as if NIPOST was all we had and NITEL was king of communications.

Let me go out on a limb to add another dimension to this and ask; why do judges still write in long hand? Some registrars can’t even read these handwritings and we have many complaints about judgements and rulings with lots of errors that will require one to file additional processes just to correct an error. I opine that some judges prefer long hand because they want full control over the court records so it is whatever they write down that forms the record of court…there is therefore no way of cross checking if what a judge puts down is what actually took place in court. This poses a serious problem and a loophole for corruption to thrive and for justice to be compromised.

Finally, Our Judges are working under terrible conditions and making it worse is that they have to sit long hours because they are writing in long hand and working without computers and the Internet.

I however, commend some judges for the use of technology in their courts. I commend some Chief Judges for introducing and investing in technology and improving services provided by the courts.

Money is not the problem, let’s stop all the excuses. COVID 19 took us by surprise but we handled it using technology….why is it now difficult to advance?

We are now asking AI to do everything…I am sure our Judiciary can find a way to stay relevant otherwise we can just ask AI to judge matters for us.

Bayo Akinlade, Esq is the Convener of Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (Nigeria)

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