There was mild drama during court session on Tuesday as Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court Lagos, threatened to arrest a lawyer and the bailiff of court over an alleged “mobilization” of the bailiff of court to serve processes. The judge not only warned lawyers and litigants against “paying” bailiffs to serve court processes on parties to a suit but indicated that it amounts to bribery and criminal.
Justice Olaterogun was informed by counsel to the Plaintiff that his court processes was not served despite having “mobilized” the bailiff of court with the sum of N8,000 to serve same on the defendants.
The perplexed Judge upon hearing the above complaint by the Plaintiff’s counsel interjected: “did you say you mobilized the bailiffs? how much did you give them let me know if it was enough’’. “When you give bailiff of court bribe, both of you are liable, we will get the Chief Registrar. You will be handed over to the police for bribing a bailiff and you will explain how you have been bribing bailiffs. “That is how you will be collecting money from Senior Advocates of Nigeria when you become a judge.’’
Justice Olatoregun, who is the Administrative Judge of the Federal High Court Lagos Division sent for the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court and the bailiff and indicated that she would deal with the matter in her chambers.
The judge then addressing lawyers and litigants in open court noted that bailiffs are not supposed to charge extra fees from litigants in order to serve processes on parties. She said that bailiffs were being paid salaries and allowances to do their jobs and so, required no further mobilisation
It is no longer news that for your processes to be served timely, you must have to mobilize court bailiffs and sometimes follow up with phone calls and visits to the court Registry.
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