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Lawyer decries slow pace of justice delivery in Nigeria

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The managing counsel, Oracle, Abi Haruna has decried the slow pace of justice delivery in Nigeria, saying the process is causing delay in resolving conflicts. 
   
According to him, in Nigeria, an average case can’t be done in less than two or three years.Haruna who made the statement at the Business Day legal business unit, said digitalization will solve the problem of delay in the system.
   
“Once you digitalize, there will be value change, there will be tremendous impact for law firms, for the bar and the bench. It will make the process and practice become more profitable because you can predict how long adjudication process can last. 

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“So we need to connect technology to the justice delivery system to boost commerce and increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If we implement some of these, we will have a robust framework to access political architecture. For the justice delivery system in Nigeria, this is beyond policies, it is beyond reforms, just the technology aspect and I think the growth we can achieve here will be tremendous,” he said.
   
Also, a partner, Jackson, Etti and Edu, Ngozi Aderibigbe encouraged the use of private/public partnership arrangement. According to her, it will allow the private sector to digitalize the court system.
   
Her words: “If you put the figures of how much we lose as a nation, because our judicial system isn’t working, it is easy to justify whatever investment has to be made, and that investment has to be made.

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On the other hand, if we decide to be sluggish about this, the truth is that we will lose our market entirely, including the attraction in doing business here.
   
“If you have to wait for 15 years to deal with commercial issues, if the witnesses have forgotten the fact of the case when called to give evidence, it makes no sense. I think it is a honest conversation that needs to be heard.  The options are there. There are several options that we need to explore, whatever it is that have worked for other institutions can work for the judiciary.”
   
Gbenga Oyebode said it is important to adopt technology, because we live in a technology and internet based society. According  to him, adopting technology will assist lawyers in making their work more efficient and more profitable. 

Other panelists such as Adeyomi Adebanjo, general counsel, Mainone, Adedoyin Pearse, company secretary, Siemens, Bidemi Olumide, chief executive officer, partner at (AO2 LAW)/ chief executive officer, Taxaide technologies limited, Oyindamola Oyeduntan, legal adviser/company secretary, Heirs Holdings and among others gave their perspectives on disruptive technologies and the future realities of legal business. 

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Abi Haruna
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