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Nigerian govt shuts all courts over coronavirus

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Nigerian govt shuts all courts over coronavirus

Ibrahim Muhammad, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), has ordered that all courts in the nation to suspend judicial activities in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Muhammad gave the directive on Monday evening.

On Friday, the CJN had issued a circular mandating all staff and court visitors (including lawyers, litigants, press, orderlies), to undergo screening at the court entrance.

According to the notice, “anyone who refuses to undergo temperature screening at the entrance should be sent back.”

On Monday, the CJN directed all courts to close for at least two weeks, effective from Tuesday, March 24.

However, the CJN said matters which are time bound would be treated.

“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, the 24th day of March 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,” he said.

“Your Lordships are hereby directed to bring the content of this circular to the notice of all stakeholders in justice administration, please.”

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