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The Oscar Pistorius Murder Case: A Challenge to Nigerian System of Administration of Justice

The Oscar Pistorius Murder Case: A Challenge to Nigerian System of Administration of Justice

By Leesi Ebenezer Mitee

Oscar Pistorius, a South African double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic athlete, stands trial for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a South African model, on Valentine’s Night, 14 February 2013. The trial is ongoing and it is broadcast live from the courtroom in Pretoria, South Africa, on the world’s leading television channels, including CNN, BBC, Sky News, and Al Jazeera.

The modern nature of the trial through the use of appropriate courtroom technology is a major challenge to the Nigerian system of administration of justice. In Nigeria, Judges are still writing (in longhand) the entire court proceedings in their notebooks. It is not difficult to identify the major problems associated with such crude practice:

  • It is time-wasting;
  • It is unreliable: verbatim recording of every statement cannot be guaranteed, and a corrupt or mischievous Judge may decide not to write any particular aspect of the proceeding;
  • It distracts the Judge from properly observing the parties to the case, which may sometimes affect the Judges impression.

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