Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
The Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) has said that interpretations of laws regarding telecommunications requires deep knowledge of the industry.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said the need for the Judiciary to understand emerging trends in telecoms sector informed the commission’s to commitment in engaging the jurists through the annual National workshop for judges on legal issues in telecommunications.
Speaking at the 2016 edition of the forum, Danbatta noted that the workshop was conceived to bridge knowledge gaps in topical and emerging areas of telecommunication with a view to keeping the judiciary abreast of key relevant issues in the industry.
According to him, such vital knowledge of the telecommunications industry will ensure that the judiciary is able to competently navigate relevant legal issues presented for adjudication.
Danbatta told the jurists that “the emergence of the Over The Top Services, OTTs, a non traditional means of communication has left telecom regulators all over the world grappling with the issue of whether to regulate or not while balancing the expectations of relevant stakeholders.”
He implored participants to the workshop, especially the Judges, to look into the Commission’s 2016 study guidelines on the issue with the aim of providing a balanced legal direction to a permanent solution.
He said the adoption of cashless policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has paved way for increase in electronic transactions across various channels.
This he explained has also led to increase in cybercrime related issue as cybercriminals continue to develop new strategies to circumvent cybersecurity models regardless of their sophistication.
Meanwhile, Judges workshop is an annual event organised by the NCC, in collaboration with the NJC. It has been consistently organised for the past 12 years.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, declared that judiciary being the arbiter of disputes, cannot be left out in the transformations of the internet age.
He therefore advocated for a modern judiciary which will reflect some technological innovations.
Mahmud, who was represented by the Justice, Supreme Court and Chairman Education Committee of Nigeria Judicial institute NJI, Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onoughen, said that “The Judiciary as an arbiter of dispute cannot be left behind the times. We are currently undergoing various technological reformations and an ethical resurgence that is re-positioning the third arm of government for a better justice delivery. In keeping with the best practices and the demands of technological age, your Lordship must possess a sound knowledge of the law and procedures while become proficient in the use of information technology so as to expedite justice delivery to our fellow citizens”
“I counsel you that the modern judiciary that we are creating through the introduction of the renowned Nigerian Case Management System, (NCMS), makes knowledge of Information Communication Technology, (ICT) a pre-requisite to progress on the Bench, and we are determined to make the phrased transition from paper-based system to and automated one.
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