Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), has directed that courts should attend to matters that are urgent, essential or time-bound even during the lockdown.
The directive was communicated in a letter addressed to all Heads of Courts dated April 1, 2020 conveying the COVID-19 Regulation 2020.
According to a statement by his media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the minister said the measure is in line with the present administration’s pursuit of speedy dispensation of justice in the country.
“Speedy dispensation of justice is a cardinal principle of Justice Sector Reform of the present administration,” the statement read, adding that the judiciary should ensure that “time-bound cases are treated with dispatch and accorded the required attention.”
The letter with reference: “Further to the letter Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/11/631 dated March 23, 2020, by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice I. T. Mohammad, directing suspension of 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 extant laws,” Malami said the directive issued by the Chief of Justice of Nigeria was in tandem with the COVID-19 Regulations 2020 made pursuant to Quarantine Act 2004 by the President Muhammadu Buhari.