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Nigeria: Lagos Lawyers Lament E-System
Source: CajNews
Source Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Nigeria
Created: Jan 23, 2014

Lagos — Some legal practitioners in Lagos have expressed concerns over the difficulties they are experiencing while using the electronic case filing system that the judiciary introduced recently.

State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, introduced the e-Case Management System last year to ease case administration in the sector.

Through the system, all practicing lawyers in the state are expected to file their cases online.

All payments are also made online.

However, some lawyers who have been using the system however said that instead of fast-tracking cases, the system was slowing the dispensation of justice.

Barrister Victor Ayeni said the system is slow because it was a combination of the old manual filling process and the electronic process.

According to him, every lawyer in the state was still required to file their suit in paper form while the court staff would be the ones to upload the court filings to the online platform for onward processing and assignment.

“When the new electronic filing system was introduced by the current chief judge, we saw it as a welcome development. We thought it would make thing easier but with what we experience now just to file cases, I can tell you that it is a wrong idea.

"They case it electronic filling process but we still file our cases in hard copies. To make things worse, after filling your hard copy, you will now have to wait for a court staff to refile it for you electronically," he said.

He thus called on the judiciary authority to either scrap the electronic system or modify it to make it easier for practitioners to use.

Another lawyer, Ben Umudjoro, expressed frustration in using the online platform alleging court staff were capitalizing on the system to delay cases.

“The system is just full of delays. After completing the manual filing process, you will still have to wait until somebody uploads the document online before you can access it.

"Again after that, you will still wait for days before to see if it has been assigned. Sometimes, that one alone takes another two to three days. The process is just endless,” he said.

He added that the court management should fix a time frame within which all electronic filling must be processed to avoid the current delays in the system.

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