Stories from UNODC Nigeria

UNODC hosts webinar on using innovative IT solutions in support of criminal proceedings against terrorism, violent extremism, piracy and maritime crime in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak

Abuja, 18 September 2020 - Many courts across Nigeria have been struggling to process heavy caseloads for years and the onset of the COVID-19 crisis has made a challenging situation even more difficult by preventing in-person hearings in court rooms across Nigeria out of very legitimate public health concerns. It is clear that something needs to be done urgently to address this situation and it now seems that virtual or online hearings could be a potential solution.

The judiciary in Nigeria has been very quick to recognise the potential of using virtual hearings in these troubled times, and in recent months courts have issued various practice directions to enable some hearings to proceed online or via video link. In accordance with these practice directions, a number of virtual hearings have already started to take place, including before the Federal High Court.  

In order to discuss and develop key insights on the use of virtual hearings, and in support of the criminal justice system of Nigeria, UNODC's EU funded projects - Support to West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) and EU-Nigeria-UNODC-CTED Partnership Project III: Assisting Nigeria to Strengthen the Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism and Violent Extremism - hosted a webinar on the use of innovative IT solutions in support of criminal proceedings against terrorism, violent extremism, piracy and maritime crime in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which took place on 7 July 2020. The webinar was attended by approximately 50 Nigerian criminal justice practitioners from all areas of the criminal justice system. The facilitators were senior Nigerian stakeholders including Hon. Justice Faji from the Federal High Court of Nigeria, as well as facilitators drawn from across UNODC.[Read More]

***