The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Tanko Mohammed, has extended the suspension of all court sittings except in matters that are urgent, for 14 days due to the persistent rise in the cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The CJN made this known in a statement he signed and made available on Monday, about two weeks after he made the first order on March 23, which would expire on April 7.
Nigeria currently has a total of 232 confirmed cases, with the number of infected people who have recovered from the virus in the country increasing from 27 to 33. The figure of fatality from the disease has, however, increased to five.
The Justice Mohammed statement reads:
RE: PREVENTIVE MEASURES ON THE SPRED OF CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) AND THE PROTECTION OF JUSTICES, JUDGES AND STAFF OF COURTS.
Your Lordship will recall that in tandem with COVID-19 Regulations 2020 and as a preventive measure on the spread of the virus in the country, I had by Circular No. NJC/CIR/HOC/11/631 dated 23rd March, 2020 directed all Heads of Courts to suspend Court sittings for an initial period of two weeks from 24th March, 2020.
- In view of the fact that the initial period of two weeks suspension of Courts sittings will expire on 7th April, 2020, I hereby extend the suspension of Court sittings till further notice, given the lockdown measure put in place by federal and some state governments to curb the spread of COVID-19.
- Your Lordships are however to note that Courts are expected to sit particularly, to dispense matters that are urgent, essential or time-bound in line with our extant laws.
- Your Lordships are hereby directed to bring the content of this Circular to the notice of all Stakeholders in the Justice administration, please.
It is unknown if the date would be shifted again if the COVID-19 lockdown persists.