On Lagos State Judiciary Charging for Virtual Hearing Services and the Bail Information Management Services (BIMS)

By Bayo Akinlade 

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, 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 sit 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 that VIRTUAL HEARINGS would be a viable, less expensive, effective and efficient alternative but unfortunately, our colleagues on the BENCH have weaponized 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 self-serving and that 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.

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 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 its dealings; it’s the 3rd arm of government whose income is derived from the sweat of citizens and our collective resources.

  • Akinlade is a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Ikorodu Branch

To join our CITY LAWYER platform on WhatsApp, click here

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to Join us on Facebook at and on “X” (TWITTER) at To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER or for Special Features, please email or call 08138380083.

All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.