Kazeem Alogba, chief judge of Lagos state, has approved the remote hearing of cases via Skype or Zoom.
The new practice direction for the judiciary in the state, signed by the chief judge on April 27, also allows lawyers and litigants to file cases electronically, while fees to be paid may be communicated to lawyers through email, WhatsApp, or text message.
The new guidelines will also allow “use of suitable technology, a just determination of court proceedings as well as an efficient use of available judicial and administrative resources”.
Paragraph 11 of the practice directions states that service of court processes may be effected by email, WhatsApp or any other directive issued by the court.
Paragraph 16 reads: “Remote hearings shall be by Zoom, Skype for business or any other video communication method approved by the Chief Judge.”
According to Alogba, these new practice directions are to ensure “a timely and efficient disposal of cases” and they are to take effect from May 4.
In a nationwide broadcast on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari said there would be gradual easing of the lockdown in the federal capital territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states from May 4.