Lagos courts begin virtual hearings Monday

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, has said courts in the state will from Monday, May 4, begin hearing of urgent matters remotely.

He said time-bound interlocutory applications, such as bail applications, fundamental rights cases, adoption of final written addresses, and judgments would be delivered through this means.

The CJ explained that remote court hearings had become necessary in view of the coronavirus pandemic, necessitating social distancing.

Justice Alogba signed the Lagos State Judiciary Remote Hearing of Cases (COVOD-19 Pandemic Period) Practice Direction, pursuant to sections 6(6) and 274 of the 1999 Constitution; as well as Section 87 (1) of the High Court Law of Lagos State 2015 and Order 49 Rules 1,2 and 3 High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rule 2019.
The Chief Judge said the objective of the new practice direction was “to ensure timely and efficient disposal of cases.”

According to the practice direction, lawyers are to file their suits electronically through email or Whatsapp, adding that court papers must be in PDF format.

It said, “Remote hearings shall be by Zoom, Skype for Business or any other video communication method approved by the court.

“Notice of a hearing shall be stated on the Cause List and the judiciary website and shall be communicated to counsel and/or parties by email, Whatsapp or any other electronic means as the court may direct.

“Counsel shall dress appropriately and parties shall be properly dressed for court proceedings.

“Proceedings of the remote hearing shall be recorded by the court. Recording of proceedings by counsel and parties shall only be with the leave of the court.

“Certified True Copy of proceedings shall be made available upon request.”

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