The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Tanko Muhammad has directed all heads of courts to suspend sittings from Tuesday (today) for the initial two weeks.
He gave the directive as part of efforts to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the court.
The directive was contained in a circular entitled, “Re: Preventive measures on the spread of coronavirus and protection of justices, judges and staff of courts,” posted on the website of the NJC and sighted by our correspondent.
The CJN said only matters that were urgent, essential or time bound could be heard within the period. It read:
“Further to my earlier Circular Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/II/629 dated 20th March, 2020, on the above subject matter.
“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, March 24, 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.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday reported the first confirmed death from coronavirus in the country, with 40 total cases spread across five states and the federal capital territory (FCT).