New Price tag on Virtual Hearing and Bail in Lagos State – Lawyer raises Concern 

Bayo Akinlade Esq 

Lagos lawyer, Bayo Akinlade Esq has raised concern over the new fees attached to virtual court hearing in Lagos State.

Reacting in a statement made available to BarristerNG, Mr. Akinlade said “it seems that the Nigerian people have no reprieve from all their sufferings and the Judiciary is no longer the Last Hope of the Common Man.”

Read his full reaction below

VIRTUAL HEARINGS
We have had enough time to make virtual hearings the norm while physical appearances in open court should have taken a back seat.

In light of the current power supply issues bedeviling the Judiciary in Lagos State and the high cost of fuel and food prices, and the recent measures taken by the Lagos State Government requiring civil servants to only come to work 3 to 4 times a week, one would think that the managers of the Justice Sector would be more innovative in their approach to issues of great importance such as the economic conditions of Citizens

With Lagos State Judges and Magistrates facing inadequate court rooms where some can’t seat for more than 3 days a week or work for more than 5 Hours a day due to the lack of Electricity supply, one would think VIRTUAL HEARINGS would be a viable, less expensive, effective and efficient alternative but unfortunately our colleagues on the BENCH have weaponize the very thing that would have put less burden on our Judges, Lawyers and Litigants.

I have observed the Virtual Hearing infrastructure and services of the Lagos State Judiciary for some time now and I can only wonder who in the world are the Judiciary taking advice from because we know that the Judiciary within its ranks have very little internal expertise regarding technology to be able to counter any external suggestions that may be selfserving and may not meet the ends of Justice the citizens are hoping for.

I will not say more on this but it is clear that the Judiciary has only put a prize tag on virtual hearings but has not shown any capacity to make it efficient, effective and sustainable.

On BIMS
Here again the Judiciary has placed an extra prize tag on another essential aspect of Justice delivery.

Aside from all the bottlenecks of bail perfection such as requirements to pay taxes, surety approval system, arraignments and remand proceedings etc all of which are currently administered ineffectively causing defendants to spend days in correctional facilities, our Judiciary has added another burden through the requirements for BIMS.

it seems that the Nigerian people have no reprieve from all their sufferings and the Judiciary is no longer the LAST HOPE OF THE COMMON MAN.

The Bar should not be silent on this. Senior Advocates of Nigeria in Lagos State should take up this challenge and show citizens why they deserve the rank/title and stand up for the common man.

The Attorney General of Lagos State should intervene (seeing that government doesn’t pay for services offered by the Judiciary)… The Judiciary is accountable to the people, it should be transparent with it’s dealings, it’s the 3rd arm of government whose income is derived from the sweat of citizens and our collective resources


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