In a bid to digitalise the court and make justice dispensation in the state effective, smooth and quick, the Oyo State Judiciary has commenced e-filing of court processes within its magistrate courts.
The e-filing for magistrate courts was inaugurated on Monday at the premises of the Oyo State High Court, with a presentation on modalities of operation displayed to judges, magistrates and representatives of lawyers.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola charged legal practitioners to embrace the ongoing digitilisation of the court as it was in line with global best practices and designed to make their work faster, easy and ensure efficient justice delivery system.
“E-filing is one of the aspects of digitalising the magistrate court and fast tracking the processes as it means that lawyers no longer need to appear physically at the court registry to file processes, they just need to do it online from the comfort of their homes or offices.
“It will reduce the the time used in filing processes for cases and subsequently, reduce the time used on individual cases. We have started e-affidavit so we already have a process; the materials needed for it to work are already in place,” he said.
The chief judge also explained that there will be training and workshops for lawyers and other stakeholders, especially those who are ICT complaint to facilitate the the use of the e-filing.
In his address, the Executive Director of Cinfores, the consultancy firm that partnered with the judiciary to set up the e-filing system, Ayodele Afeniforo, said that the e-filing will make the work of lawyers easy and reduce the burden on the judiciary.
“We have been able to use the Court Information Management System to create a platform where people can log in to carry out their filing activities. It makes the court easily accessible to everyone as people can sit in their homes and access the court registry to do their business; log in with ease, file procedure and even do affidavits and will through e-probate.
“It is easier to use and there is a guideline on the portal to put users through the process. This is an innovation that will help in quickening justice delivery; it aids efficiency and productivity and also generates more income for the people involved,” he said.
On the likely danger of the platform, Afeniforo said the only challenge is security of data. He, however, assured that as an organisation, Cinfores has built a firewall about the judiciary system to prevent information theft, adding “as a cyber security expert, we have done what is required to protect the judiciary data and as an organisation that partnered on this, we also can’t access the information. Information is the new oil and we have protected Oyo judiciary from data breach.”