CJN directs courts to hear only urgent matters

CJN directs courts to hear only urgent matters

- The CJN has directed that the order that shut down courts still stands

- However, he said the courts should only hear urgent cases

- According to reports, the order was issued to all heads of court in the federal and state judiciaries

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on Monday, May 4, directed all heads of courts to abide by previous circulars shutting down courts to hear only urgent, essential and time-bound matters.

He said this will be pending the outcome of a committee set up to come up with recommendations on how to leverage on technology and hold the business of courts even during the Covid-19 period.

The circular dated May 4, with Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/II/658 was issued to all heads of court in the federal and state Judiciaries.

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It is titled: Re: Implementation Guidelines For The Containment of COVID-19 Issued by The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19

“This circular is imperative following the guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for the phased easing of the lockdown.

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“Guidelines on the use of appropriate Technology on virtual or remote hearings issued by the NJC.

Strategic measures and Guidance must be provided for Courts where physical hearings must be held and they must do so sparingly and in line with appropriate regulations and guidelines issued by the NJC, and the health protocols approved by the NCDC.

“This should cover things like access control, infrared temperature detector/thermometer, space requirement per person, physical distancing within the Court premises, protective gears, sanitation and periodic decontamination of the Courtrooms amongst other measures," the CJN said.

Legit.ng had reported that for the first time in its history, the Lagos State Judiciary is holding its first-ever virtual court sitting.

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According to The Nation, Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja high court is delivering judgment in a murder and stealing case between the State of Lagos v Olalekan Hameed.

The court session which began at 11am is holding online via a video app.

People present in the virtual sitting include the judge, defendant, his team of counsel, the prosecution team and top members of the state Judiciary and Ministry of Justice.

Going further, the news outlet reveals that the judge is at high court 10 in Ikeja, the defendant Hameed is at Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre, Apapa while the counsel are at different locations.

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