Access to Justice in Nigeria during Covid 19 Pandemic and the Adoption of Supportive Technologies

  • Cletus Ojumu and Aduku Abdul Ainoko
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  • Cletus Ojumu

    Legal Practitioner and a Doctoral Student at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu Campus, Enugu State, Nigeria

  • Aduku Abdul Ainoko

    Lecturer at Salem University, Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria

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One of the incidences of fundamental rights of citizens as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is an access to court and justice. The citizens of any country are expected to have free and unfettered access to their courts and tribunals where their grievances are ventilated and their rights determined in a properly constituted courts and tribunals. Justice is expected to be dispensed fairly and swiftly at all times without bias, fear or favour. This is because justice is the end of law as the law is a means to justice. However, access to justice was, within a recent time, marred and afflicted with the hydra-headed gorgons called COVID-19 which ravaged the entire globe and affected virtually all the sectors of economy including the courts. As a result, free access to court was restricted leading to technological innovations of virtual hearing of cases. This article examines this innovative technology called virtual proceedings in our adjudicatory jurisprudence. It tends to explore whether virtual hearings can be equated to public hearing as stipulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). It further considers the legislative effort to making virtual court proceedings part of the Constitution. This work is achieved through doctrinal methodology of the use of internet materials, statutory and judicial authorities. The work finds that virtual proceedings is restrictive and do not permit unhindered access of members of the public to any judicial hearing. It finally recommends that in order to put an end to the lingering controversy surrounding virtual court proceedings, the Constitution must be amended to incorporate virtual hearings or sittings into our body of law.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2, Page 546 - 559


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