A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, on Thursday at Badagry, Lagos State, called on the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to embrace technology to arrest corruption in the judiciary.
Falana gave the advice at the 2021 Law Week organised by the Badagry Branch of the NBA.
He noted that corruption was already ingrained in the country’s justice system and that it was only the adoption of technology that could root it out.
Falana noted also that lawyers in most countries did not need to appear in court to move motions, but that in Nigeria, they must file motions physically.
He stressed that through technology, lawyers could file applications virtually.
“You can file a case without going to court. Through technology, as I am sitting here, I can file a case at ECOWAS Court in Abuja and by the next day, I’d have suit number.
“The last time I gave evidence in a case involving Ogoni before a court in The Netherlands, I sat in my house to do it over a period of three hours.
“It is wasting of time and money to travel to Abuja from Lagos to move a motion when you can do it virtually.
“The kind of technology we have at the Ikeja Court which they call `e-filing’ is `e-delay’ and this promotes corruption because you have to bribe if you want your case to be urgently attended to,’’ he said.
Falana observed that the law profession was no longer noble as it used to be.
“In the olden days, if you stood up and say, I am speaking from the Bar, you would be taken very serious because everybody believes you’d say the truth.
“Today, if you say `My Lord I am from the Bar’, even your colleagues will not believe because they know you’d tell lies,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Chief Kyari Gadzama, Chairman of the event said that good governance and rule of law were solutions to different agitations in Nigeria.
“Efforts have been made over time since independence by our leaders in this country to make things work; there is unification without unity.
“The major sources of our problem are ethnicity, social stratification, and gender factors.
“As at today the South-South is clamouring for resource control; Southeast is clamouring for secession, while the north is comfortable with the situation.
“The Middle Belt is yearning for more states while Southwest is calling for ethnic self-determination,’’ he said.
Mohammed Sodipo, Chairman, NBA, Badagry branch, said the theme of the event was in response to calls for the break-up of Nigeria by groups whose hope in Nigeria as a nation had been shattered.
He said, however, that the breakup of the country would not address Nigeria’s multifaceted problems.
The theme of the Week is: “The future of Nigeria’s democracy in the midst of call for restructuring, clamour for resource control and ethnic self-determination: Striking a balance between call for an all-inclusive federalism and secessionists call.’’