From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, has charged lawyers to adopt new technology in order to remain relevant in today’s society.
Speaking at Sir Louis Mbanefo Bar Centre in Onitsha while declaring open this year’s 2020 Annual Bar Week organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Onitsha branch, the Chief Judge said some lawyers are being left behind because they have refused to upgrade by adpot modern trends
The Chief Judge charged them to always preserve their noble profession and aim for excellence even in the midst of Nigeria’s current economic crisis, noting that virtual hearings and proceedings would gradually take root in the legal profession.
He commended the Onitsha NBA for their rancour-free election and being alive to their responsibilities, enjoined other NBA branches in the state to emulate them.
Earlier in his welcome address, NBA Chairman, Onitsha branch, Stephen Onyechi Ononye, Esq., reminded the guests that the choice of this year’s Bar Week theme, “The Role of Technology in Contemporary Legal Practice”, could not have come at a better time, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ononye, who disclosed that the NBA branch had made a provision for free legal services for the underprivilged and free medical tests for the lawyers, within the Bar week period, contended that with the COVID-19 pandemic, the judicial system and the practice of law in Nigeria neccesitates the application of new technology to the practice of law in Nigeria.
He lamented that due to the outbreak of the pandemic, which had resulted in shutting down the courts throughout the period, with pending cases suffering as a result, many accused persons on the awaiting trial list have had their trial halted as they could not be conveyed to and from the courts, just as other civil matters were also delayed.
He noted that such situations could have been averted if they had in place an enabling legal framework that supports the judge to hear matters from the comfort of his home, using available technology.
He prayed that their legal work be expanded to accommodate the use of new technology so as to ensure that the practice of law becomes easier and faster.