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Lagos judiciary announces N30,000 fee for virtual hearing

Lagos judiciary announces N30,000 fee for virtual hearing
April 02
19:22 2024

The Lagos state judiciary says litigants who want to access virtual court proceedings must pay a fee of N30,000 per session.

In a circular dated March 28, Tajudeen Elias, acting chief registrar of the state, said the directive takes effect from April 1.

The circular said all applications for virtual hearings must be made to the court before the commencement of the matter.

The document said payment should be made upon approval to the court while the case would be scheduled for a hearing by the assistant chief registrar of litigation in Ikeja or Lagos as soon as money is received.

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“No other office or officer is authorised to conduct or schedule cases for virtual proceedings in the high and magistrate courts of Lagos state,” the circular reads.

“The First Hightower Infotech Ltd. (FHTI) will continue to provide internet access and service for the courts where they currently offer such services.

“Court registrars are directed to ensure strict compliance with the circular.”

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Global T & T New Solutions Ltd had partnered with the Lagos state ministry of justice on virtual court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the development in an interview with NAN, Musbau Famuyiwa, the managing director of the company, said the virtual hearing had been free from inception since the pandemic.

He said the payment of the fee would make the virtual hearing more effective by scaling it up to aid the justice system.

“In terms of scaling it up, judiciary does not have the capacity and infrastructural development which is why Global T& T is involved to help achieve the goal,” Famuyiwa said.

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“If the judiciary finds a third party to fill in that gap to provide this service, it will go a long way.

“Imagine someone coming from Port-Harcourt to attend a matter in Lagos, you know how expensive that is but if such a person can join virtually, it will dramatically reduce the cost.

“Also, imagine a witness flying down from outside the country to give evidence when he can easily pay the sum of N30,000 to avoid flight tickets and other expenses.

“People are already tapping into this service but the court is not forcing anyone to use the virtual hearing.

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“The virtual hearing has also been extended to all magistrate courts in the state.

“The service charge of N30,000 is going to our company’s purse.”

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