The United States government in partnership with the government of Ogun State on Tuesday launched an electronic court scheduling and case management system for the state judiciary.
Delivering remarks at a ceremony to launch the electronic system in Abeokuta, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard said the U.S. government-supported initiative will shorten court delays and case backlogs, and deliver justice more efficiently for the citizens of Nigeria.
According to her, the new case management system was developed to promote efficiency in the allocation of time and resources to court cases.
She noted that there are high hopes that the electronic court scheduling and case management system will help speed up the pace of criminal justice in Ogun State.
Leonard highlighted the positive trajectory of law enforcement cooperation between the U.S. Mission and the Ogun State Government, including support for the establishment of the Corrections Information Management System and the Court Attendance Endorsement Form.
“The introduction of Corrections Information Management System and the Court Attendance Endorsement Form serve the key goals to decongest prisons, provide the necessary infrastructure to speed up the pace of criminal adjudication, and to ensure the creation of data that will document any delays,” Leonard added
On his part, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun lauded the U.S. government for the partnership that culminated in the introduction of the electronic court scheduling and case management system for the state judiciary, describing it as a “trailblazing effort” in the administration of justice in the state
Also, Chief Judge of Ogun State, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, urged judges, magistrates and other judicial officers in the state to embrace the new electronic system.
“Digitization will aid quick dispensation of justice and make our job as judges easier with the ripple effect of attracting investors to the state,” Chief Judge Dipeolu added
The Corrections Information Management System is deployed by the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Services to record and monitor the length of time pre-trial suspects are kept in custody.
Similarly, the Court Attendance Endorsement Form enables the correctional facilities and courts in Ogun State to track court attendance and case hearings for persons in custody.
Through the support of the U.S. Mission’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the Ogun State Government initiated a collaboration with a local law firm, Olaniwun Ajayi Legal Practitioners, to develop a manual detailing the new system.
Following the U.S. Mission’s initial support, Olaniwun Ajayi Legal Practitioners and Ogun State authorities expanded on the project and digitized the process into a multi-user electronic system.
INL works with partner governments to help reduce crime, promote public safety, and ensure that people have access to a functioning justice system that is fair, transparent, and accountable.
The ceremony was attended by senior judicial officers, state legislators, law enforcement officers, civil society representatives and members of the Nigeria Bar Association.