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COVID-19: Lawyers, Litigants To Use Online Communication, Appeal Court Directs

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The Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dogban-Mesem, has urged lawyers and litigants seeking to access the court, to do so through online communication, saying the directive was to ameliorate the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Justice Dogban-Mesem, in a fresh operational directive for the Court dated March 30, ordered that all matters pending before Divisions of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun State, should cease.

She based the order on the ongoing 14-day lockdown directive by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Owing to the lockdown directive, the Acting PCA, stated: “I hereby issue an interim practice directive that all matters pending before the Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun State shall cease in compliance thereof.

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“Meanwhile, all Court proceedings for States not mentioned in the Presidential lockdown Directive of 30/03/2020 shall continue in line with the Directives issued by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Dr. Tanko Muhammad CFR on 23/03/2020.

“The Bench and the Bar are enjoined to strictly observe the guidelines on Social Distancing as directed by the National Centre for Disease Control.
“Counsel and Litigants present in court should be limited to 20 Persons maximum at all times.

“The use of ICT via online communication is hereby encouraged as much as practicable to ameliorate the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“All Hon. Justices and Staff members of the Court are enjoined to support the efforts of the Federal Government by observing all guidelines”.

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