By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja
The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, has written to Heads of various Courts in the country, stressing the need for cases that are urgent, essential or time-bound, to be attended to during the ongoing lockdown.
The AGF, in a statement he made available to newsmen on Wednesday, maintained that speedy dispensation of justice, “is a cardinal principle of Justice Sector Reform of the present administration”.
Hence, he urged all the Heads of Courts, to ensure that “time-bound cases are treated with dispatch and accorded the required attention”.
According to the statement that was signed by Malami’s media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the directive was communicated in a letter addressed to all Heads of Courts, dated April, 1, which conveyed the COVID- 19 Regulation, 2020, of the Federal Government.
It said the letter was titled “RE: PREVENTIVE MEASURES ON THE SPREAD OF CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) AND THE PROTECTION OF JUSTICES, JUDGES, AND STAFF OF COURTS”.
The statement revealed that the AGF’s letter read in part: “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, CFR 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 President Muhammadu Buhari.