The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has praised the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its efforts in promoting awareness and knowledge of Information Communications Technologies (ICT) among the judiciary in particular, and the Nigerian public.
The CJN made the remarks at the opening of the 2023 NCC-hosted annual workshop for judges on telecommunications issues, which began in Kano on Monday, September 18.
Justice Ariwoola said that information technology and telecommunication services have surpassed the conventional method of court service delivery, as the use of the Internet is becoming a prominent feature of this era with innovative and interactive influences on the public.
He said that the theme of the workshop, “The Adjudication Path in a Digital Era,” strikes a chord with the current realities that judicial officers face technologies that has fundamentally transformed how they communicate, access information and conduct legal proceedings.
“We are obliged to embrace this transformation while ensuring that doing justice remains at the forefront of our efforts,” he said.
The CJN and other Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court, Appeal Court, Federal High and States High Courts, and the NJI, were welcomed to the workshop by the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who greeted them with the news that the Nigerian Communications Act,(NCA) 2003, is currently undergoing a fundamental review to update its provisions.
The CJN said that the workshop presents a platform where the challenges facing the judiciary by the digital revolution would be effectively discussed and that it is also an opportunity to equip the judiciary with the necessary information to deal with the digital era.
He said: “It is also crucial to prioritize the examination of the convergence of data privacy and information security law. The enormous amount of data generated and collated in the digital realm raises critical questions regarding privacy, security, and the protection of individual rights.
“As Judicial Officers, you are responsible for carefully assessing the legal implications of data collation, storage, and utilization and by striking a harmonious balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding privacy, your Lordships would cultivate trust in the digital ecosystem while upholding individual rights.”
Danbatta, in his welcome address, expressed gratitude to the CJN and the top echelon of the judiciary for finding time to attend the workshop and promised the Commission’s resolve to deepen knowledge of the digital future on the judiciary as a very critical and indispensable arm of government.
He said that the Commission is responsive to the rapid changes in the telecommunications and technology space and that NCC has taken steps to start the review of its enabling legislation, the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA, 2003) while assuring that stakeholders will get the opportunity to make input to the amendment.
The workshop is being hosted by the NCC in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).