By Sandra Umeh
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice I. T Muhammad, has directed all Justices of Federal Courts in the nation to suspend court sittings for the next two weeks.
The CJN gave the directive in a circular issued on Monday and tagged:
“RE: PREVENTIVE MEASURES ON THE SPREAD OF CORONA VIRUS COVID-19 AND THE PROTECTION OF JUSTICES, JUDGES AND STAFF OF COURTS,”
According to his lordship, all Heads of courts are to suspend judicial proceedings for two weeks at the first instance, except for cases that requires urgency.
The circular as obtained by newsmen reads:
‘Further to my earlier Circular Ref. No. NJC/ClR/HOC/II/629 dated 20″ March, 2020, on the above subject matter.
” In view of the reality of the COVID-l9 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,”
Prior to the issuance of the circular, the Federal High Court had embarked on screening of staff, lawyers, litigants, visitors and all entrants to the court, using an infrared thermometer
The court had also given hand sanitizers to all court entrants as part of its efforts in checking spread of the virus.