The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) has called on heads of courts to ensure speedy dispensation of time-bound cases.
In a letter addressed to all heads of courts dated April 1, 2020, Malami clarified that courts are expected to attend to the matters that are urgent, essential or time-bound even during the lockdown.
The minister noted that speedy dispensation of justice is a cardinal principle of the Justice Sector Reform of the present administration, hence he urged that time-bound cases are treated with dispatch and accorded the required attention. The letter with the titled “Re: Preventive Measures on the Spread of Coronavirus but (COVID-19) and the Protection of Justices, Judges and Staff of Courts,” acknowledged the circular issued by the Chief Justice of the Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammed on the subject matter.
It stated that “further to the letter Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/11/631 dated 23rd March, 2020 by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice I. T. Mohammad, directing the 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 is in tandem with the COVID-19 Regulations 2020 made pursuant to Quarantine Act 2004 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari.