Mr Jirgi Pitiko, the Chief Justice of the West African Law students Association (WELSA) has urged law students to contribute to the actualisation of the ECOWAS vision and mission.
Pitiko made the call at the opening of a three-day International Justice Conference with the theme: `Beyond Borders: Advancing Justice for A Connected West Africa’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
He urged them to promote unity, good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, and the advancement of West African legal Systems.
“You must be agents of change for the benefit of mankind and the region in general,” he said.
He said the theme encapsulated the region’s shared vision and it reminded them that justice knows no boundaries, and the quest for it transcended the confines of geography.
“It is a gathering that will not only enrich our minds but also fuel our determination to be architects of positive change in our region.
“It is aimed at enabling Law students lend their voices to the current happenings in the West African Region”.
He also noted that the event was aimed at contributing to the growth of the legal system as well as the economy and provide solutions to the occurring challenges in the West African region.
Also speaking, the President of the association, Mr Nazir Sunusi said:”it is the duty of the new generation to carry the torch forward to ensure quick justice for all.
“We young Africans must do something for Africa, we must roll up our sleeves and go into the arena of action.
“We believe that our achievements and efforts to bring young minds together purposefully to interact, learn and share innovative ideas, despite the economic situation of the region will not be in vain.
Sunusi also pointed out that the association draws inspiration from the remarkable effort of West African fathers who united West Africa.
“We urge our fathers to implement all the protocols that will change the life of the people and not only condemning coupe de tats”.
Chief Joe Gadzama, SAN, while speaking on the `Role of technology in strengthening cross border Judicial corporation in West Africa’ said that even though the advent of technology brought about the many positives, it also causes a lot distractions.
Gadzama, who was represented by his son, Madu Gadzama noted that cross border Judicial corporation holds immense significance in the contemporary globalised world where issues transcend national boundaries.
He emphasized on the need for legal systems to adapt, so as to address complexities of an interconnected society.
“In an era where transactional crimes such as terrorism and cybercrime pose threats, corporative efforts among nations are crucial.
“By working together to investigate, prosecute and punish those who threaten global stability, contribute to a safer and more secure world’’, he said.
He advised that the legal process be streamlined, as it does not only save resources but also promotes fairness.
Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who spoke on the importance of data protection and privacy noted that in the era of digitalization, digital data cannot be perfectly private, as data can easily be stolen or destroyed.
“Our privacy is under constant attack in this digital age due to the anonymity of the internet.
“People can say things or do things that they never dreamt of doing in person, this can include case of violence, sexual harassment, cyber bullying and other cyber-attacks.
“Unfortunately, victims of these attacks often find it difficult to get their perpetrators to stop as it is also difficult to trace them.
He therefore implored that surveillance be anchored on law, transparency and the need for a presence of independent judiciary as well to help control the violations of data privacy.