Covid-19: CJN Orders Temporary Closure of Courts

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Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed

By Alex Enumah

The impact of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic on Monday hit the judiciary, following an order by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, suspending all court activities in the country temporarily.

Justice Muhammad’s directive was contained in a fresh circular dated March 23, 2020, to all heads of courts.

The closure, which is for an initial two weeks, comes into effect on Tuesday, March 24.

However, the CJN said the judges can attend to pressing issues and or time-bound cases in their courts.

The circular titled ‘RE: PREVENTIVE MEASURES ON THE SPREAD OF CORONA VIRUS (COVID – 19) AND THE PROTECTION OF JUSTICES, JUDGES AND STAFF OF COURTS’ is a further directive to the CJN’s earlier circular with Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/II/629 dated 20th March, 2020, on the above subject matter.

It reads: “In view of the reality of the COVID-19 in the country and in order to take further preventive steps, all Heads of Courts are, from tomorrow, the 24th day of March, 2020, directed to suspend court sittings for an initial period of two weeks at the first instance, except in matters that are urgent, essential or time bound according to our extant laws.

“Your Lordships are hereby directed to bring the content of this circular to the notice of all stakeholders in justice administration, please.”