Bamidele seeks quick passage of virtual court proceeding bill

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, on Thursday said the adoption of virtual court proceedings in the country’s administration of justice would transform the sector and help break the barrier of unwarranted delay of judicature.

Bamidele said such was the essence of the bill which he sponsored and was awaiting second reading on the floor of the Senate.

He said this in a statement in Ado Ekiti.

The lawmaker said, “Technology has been adopted as an instrument for speedy delivery of judgments on cases in advanced nations. Many cases are being heard through teleconference and judgements passed through same route.

“Apart from decongesting our courts, it helps during emergency situations as we are experiencing under coronavirus pandemic. Virtual proceeding is expedient to save our nation from anarchy in times of emergency like this.

“Judiciary as an arm of government must move with the tide. As a way of complying with the social distancing policy of government under COVID-19, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Executive Council now holds weekly meetings through virtual means so that the nation will not suffer good governance.

“The same method has been adopted by governors in many states and I see no reason the judiciary can’t adopt same to entrench the rule of law in the system, because one can’t get justice when activities of courts are suspended indefinitely, because justice delayed is justice denied.”

Bamidele applauded the Federal High Court for adopting virtual proceeding as a norm and practice direction in 2020.