The Appeal Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has ordered the suspension of all cases before its Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun state divisions of the court.
The acting president said in a statement that the suspension was in compliance with the lockdown of the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states by the federal government to contain the escalation of the coronavirus disease that has spread across some 12 states in the country.
“Following the 14 day lockdown directive of His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, with effect from 11:00Pm 30/03/2020, I hereby issue an interim practice directive that all matters pending before the Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun State shall cease in compliance thereof,” she said.
However, Dongban-Mensem said court proceedings in states not mentioned in the president’s lockdown directive will continue to sit but in line with the directive issued by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad on reducing the spread of the COVID-19.
“Meanwhile, all Court proceedings for States not mentioned in the Presidential lockdown Directive of 30/03/2020 shall continue in line with the directives issued by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Dr. Tanko Muhammad CFR on 23/03/2020.
“The Bench and the Bar are enjoined to strictly observe the guidelines on Social Distancing as directed by the National Centre for Disease Control.
“Counsel and Litigants present in court should be limited to 20 Persons maximum at all times.
She urged the use of ICT via online communication as much as possible so as to ameliorate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The use of ICT via online communication is hereby encouraged as much as practicable to ameliorate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“All Hon. Justices and Staff members of the Court are enjoined to support the efforts of the Federal Government by observing all guidelines,” she added.