Justice Kazeem Alogba, the chief judge of Lagos state, has ratified the remote hearing of court cases in the state through video conferencing applications, Skype or Zoom.
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This was contained in a directive signed by Justice Alogba on Monday, as part of resumption activity measures for the Lagos State judiciary.
The courts have been closed for the past five weeks due to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
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According to the directive, the “use of suitable technology, a just determination of court proceedings as well as an efficient use of available judicial and administrative resources”.
Justice Alogba said these new practice directions are to ensure “a timely and efficient disposal of cases” and they are to take effect from May 4.
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Lawyers and litigants to file cases electronically, while fees to be paid may be communicated to lawyers through email, WhatsApp, or text message.
Paragraph 11 of the directive states that service of court processes may be effected by email, WhatsApp or any other directive issued by the court.
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Paragraph 16 read: “Remote hearings shall be by Zoom, Skype for business or any other video communication method approved by the Chief Judge.”
Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in a statement, he issued last week, recommended the resumption of court sessions in earnest without a face-to-face interaction leveraging on the use of technology.