COVID-19 Update: CJN Orders Closure of Courts

On Monday, following an order by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic hit the judiciary, halting all court operations in the country temporarily.

The Order of Justice Muhammad was included in a new circular dated 23 March 2020 to all heads of court.

This directive will be for an initial two weeks effective from tomorrow te 24th of march.
It reads: “Given the reality of the COVID-19 in the country and 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.

Meanwhile, the Kogi state high court has announced that it would henceforth offer priority to urgent and criminal cases. This is due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in the world.

In a statement signed by the Chief Registrar of the High Court in Lokoja on Monday, it claimed that this was part of steps to curtail the spread of the pandemic.

The statement reads as follows:’ Following the Kogi State Government Instruction, directing civil servants at grade level one (1) to thirteen (13) to operate from home and to bar gatherings of up to thirty (30) citizens. Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Nasiru Ajanah has directed all the branches of the High Court of Justice should have access to immediate and criminal issues only.

The declaration also ordered magistrates and district court judges in the state to serve on criminal cases and to have access to prosecutions only.

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