Nigeria has adopted strict measures at both national and state levels to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease. These measures include the total or partial restriction of movement, social distancing rules and the suspension of court sittings across the Federation, except for urgent, essential and time bound matters. These measures have had a severe impact on justice administration in the country.
As your organisations make tough decisions in these uncertain times, we provide below guidelines to assist you in making the right call with respect to your dispute resolution needs.
What are the chances that the courts will hear your matters?
Pursuant to the circulars issued by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on 23 March 2020 and 6 April 2020, court sittings across Nigeria have been suspended indefinitely except for cases that are “urgent, essential or time bound in line with extant laws”. By regulation 1(7) of the Covid-19 Regulations, 2020 (Regulations), a similar directive was issued by the President in relation to the Federal Capital Territory and the States of Lagos and Ogun. However, neither the CJN’s circulars nor the Regulations define matters that are “urgent, essential or time bound”.