Minister Tasks Judges on Laws Harnessing Potential of Technology


* As Dongban-Mensem urges colleagues to sharpen ICT skills

Alex Enumah

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isah Pantami, has urged judges to come up with laws that would effectively harness the potential of technology in the country.

Pantami made the call at the opening of the 2022 ICT Workshop for justices of the Court of Appeal.

The two-day training is part of efforts at improving justice delivery through digital platforms.

In a keynote address, the minister said the ICT training, which is in line with the digital transformation of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, will enhance the skills of justices in the discharge of their duties.

Pantami, represented by the Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, emphasised the need for Justices to ensure legality in all digital systems and platforms, adding that: “Whatever is illegal offline should also be illegal online.”

According to him, technology is not only a powerful tool for scrutinizing and surveillance of people, things and countries, it has gradually taken over every aspect of human endeavours hence the need for adequate laws and enforcement to prevent abuse.

“There is need to extend our laws to manage technology because if we don’t build system with legal minds, it will bring challenge to our democracy,” he said.

According to him, if systems are bias or don’t understand our laws, they will have damaging impact on the people and nation.

“The future is going to be digital, so we should have appropriate laws that will guide in building and deploring technology,” he added.

In her remarks, the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen, said that the ICT training would help minimize time spent on justice delivery as well as improve the quality of service delivery in the judiciary.

Justice Dongban-Mensen explained that the ICT training intervention was apt considering the happenings and fast technological advances across the globe.

She accordingly charged justices of the appellate court to take advantage of the training to enable them contribute immensely to the nation’s justice system.

“Let us sharpen our ICT skills so as to be on top of our job and maintain leadership of the Judiciary in the African continent,” she added.

Over 50 justices from the appellate court were selected for the training.