COVID-19: Ag. Appeal Court President orders suspension of cases in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun

Following the 14-day lockdown directive by President Muhammadu Buhari, with effect from March 30, 2020, the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem has directed that all pending cases before the Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states divisions of the Court of Appeal should be put on hold in compliance with the lockdown directive of the president.

In a statement she personally signed and made available to newsmen on Tuesday, the Acting Appeal Court President said all proceedings in states not mentioned in the presidential lockdown directive shall continue in line with the directive of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The CJN had, in the directive contained in a circular dated March 23, 2020, directed all heads of courts to suspend all courts activities in the country temporarily.

Tribune Online reports that he closure which is for an initial two weeks took effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

The CJN, however, said that judges can attend to pressing issues and or time-bound cases in their courts.

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Meanwhile, Justice Dongban-Mensem called on the Bar and the Bench to adhere strictly to the guidelines on social distancing by the National Center for Disease Control.

“Counsel and litigants present in court should be limited to 20 persons maximum at all times,” she said and made case for the use of online communication as much as practicable to ameliorate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All Justices and staff members of the Court of Appeal are enjoined to support the efforts of the federal government by observing all guidelines,” she said.

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