In its bid to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the state, the Lagos state government on Thursday disclosed that it has perfected plans to launch the digitisation of courts.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, revealed this on Thursday.
Speaking at the first virtual Bar-Bench Forum 2021, Onigbanjo observed that the coronavirus pandemic affected the digitalisation of the courts as proposed in 2020, but it would be achieved in October 2021.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), further unearthed that the government has put plans in place to digitise 10 selected courtrooms at the first stage in the year.
He stressed that the courtrooms would be equipped with the latest technology to assist the judges and counsels during court proceedings.
According to a statement by Kayode Oyekanmi, the spokesman for the state’s Ministry of Justice, the commissioner said, “the digitalisation will ensure speedy dispensation of justice to the citizens of the state; the interest of Lagos State citizens is paramount”.
He was hopeful that the digital reform would eradicate all forms of paperwork and also make the Lagos courtrooms first-class in Africa.
At the forum, the commissioner spoke on the theme ‘The aftermath of EndSARS protest and Effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the Justice System: Update on effort made so far.’
He urged participants that virtual sitting should be embraced by all, noting that it has been ruled by the Federal High Court to be Constitutional.
“The rest of the world is moving on through the use of virtual sitting; there is a need for us all to embrace digitalisation in the justice sector,” Onigbanjo said.
He stated that a Lagos court had the first virtual sitting during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown which was labelled unconstitutional, but was later ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.
On the destruction of court buildings in the state, the commissioner informed the gathering that the state government had made budget provisions to renovate the destroyed High Courts and Magistrate Courts buildings in the next quarter of the year.
He assured that the state government would provide eight courtrooms at Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi by the end of April to ease the effect of destroyed court buildings in the state.
Also commenting, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, informed that the judiciary would be investing more in the digitalisation and ICT-based initiatives in all its legal engagements.
He maintained that the judiciary sector would take advantage of the aftermath of the EndSARS incident to pursue more ICT programmes aimed at the digitalisation of court proceedings.
“To restore speedy justice delivery in the justice sector, we have identified problems faced by the judiciary as we are working tirelessly to resolve all of them”.
Justice Alogba said the backlog of pending cases at both the State Magistrate and High Courts have been identified and would be looked into accordingly.
He, thereafter lauded the efforts of the state government in identifying the effect of the EndSARS incident on the judiciary sector and ensuring that they function well in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
EFCC arrests IT expert, six other suspected internet fraudsters in Ibadan
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office on Wednesay arrested one 31-year old Lateef Adewale Adeyemi who works with a private IT firm in Osogbo for internet fraud.
The other suspects arrested include: Saheed Olatunji, Bandele Olarewaju John, Yusuf Akinkunmi Azeez, Fuja Quoreeb Oluwadamilare, Odueso Oluwole Ezekiel and Akinade Teslim
They were arrested at Main Stay Hotel, Akala Express area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
The operation followed series of intelligence report linking them with alleged fraudulent activities ranging from love scam on numerous dating sites, obtaining money by false pretenses and other fraud still being investigated.
One car, phones, laptops, several incriminating documents were recovered from the suspects.
They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
EFCC Nabs 34 Yahoo Boys in Ibadan, Lagos
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested a total of 34 suspected internet fraudsters, also known as Yahoo Yahoo Boys. They were apprehended in separate operations in Ibadan, Oyo state and Lagos.
Twenty four of the suspects, most of whom claimed to be undergraduates, were rounded up today at their hideout in Apete area of Ibadan, Oyo State by operatives from the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission.
The suspects are, Isiaka Quadri Olawale, Ojubanire Akindimeji Abdulquadri, Shobowale Michael Morenikeji, Adeyemi Yusuf Ekundayo, Alabi Gift Jesse, Owolabi Yakubu Josebh, Olasupo Ogooluwa Ayomide, Emmanuel Segun Omogbolahan, Mufutau Sarafa Adewale, and Adekunle Habeeb Olamilekan.
Others are, Usman Abdullahi Olamilekan, Adurota Emmanuel Tosin, Adekunle Ibrahim Babatunde, Adeyiga Ayobami Emmanuel, Olubanji Remilekun Michael, Ibrahim Damola Iremide, Okunlaja Joshua Opeyemi, Aiyelokun Bolaji Emmanuel, Akintokun Olalekan Ibukunmi, Kehinde Victor Boluwatife, Oni Olanrewaju Gabriel, Shobowale Samuel Durodola, Owolabi Quadri Damilola and Monday Blessing Patrick.
The early morning raid, according to the Commission followed actionable intelligence on their alleged involvement in internet-related crimes.
The arrest led to the recovery of valuable items, including four exotic cars, mobile phones, laptops, SIM cards and several incriminating documents.
The remaining ten suspects were arrested by Operatives of the Lagos Zonal Office on Tuesday at Horizon II Estate, Meadow Hall Way, Lekki, Lagos following credible information on their alleged criminal activities.
The suspects who are allegedly involved in romance scam, unemployment benefits scam, identity theft, and purchase of malicious tools to compromise corporate email accounts and intercept email messages, include: Daniel Udegbe, Taiwo Akintimehin, Abiola Opeyemi, Great Shayo Akintimehin, Dikoyejo Damilola Emmanuel, ibiayinabobo Daso and Toheeb Alhassan.
Others are: Michael Ofoedu Obinna, Sanni Azeez and Ridwan Adeyinka Songonuga.
Items recovered from the suspects include mobile phones and laptop computers.
The suspects have volunteered statements to the Commission and would be charged to Court as soon as investigations are concluded.
Lagos Police arraign 60 suspected cultists
The Police in Lagos state have arraigned no fewer than 60 suspected cultists before a magistrate court sitting in the Yaba area of the state.
The 60 suspects, made up of 12 females and 48 males, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Adeola Adebayo under the new Anti-Cultism Law of Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had fifteen days ago signed the anti-cultism bill into law.
The new law, “Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism of 2021” seeks to combat cultism in Lagos State by giving stiffer punishments to convicted cultists and those abetting them.
It prescribes a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists and a 15-year jail time for those found guilty of abetting cultism and cultists.
In the charge sheet signed by SP Yetunde Cardoso, the Officer in Charge of Legal, Lagos State Police Command, the majority of those arraigned today were arrested in Ikorodu between February and March on allegations of belonging to the Aiye cult and other unlawful societies.
Some of them were also charged with being in possession of arms and causing a breach of the peace.
Twelve of the 60 were also charged with conspiracy and the murder of one John Anibaba contrary to S222(1) Criminal Law of Lagos.