COVID-19: Anambra, CJ Directs Only Urgent Cases To Be Heard, Gives Further Guidance
COVID-19: Anambra, CJ Directs Only Urgent Cases To Be Heard, Gives Further Guidance
The Chief Judge of Anambra State has issued a Practice Direction in view of the Coronavirus Pandemic scaling down activities of the state’s Judiciary.

The Notice of the Practice Direction is signed by Chinyere Ossy-Okoye, Esq, the Chief Registrar, dated 21st of March, 2020 and made available to TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL).

It reads:

“In view of the Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic and the Directive of Anambra State Government on measures to ensure public safety and health, the Honourable Chief Judge of Anambra State, The Hon. Justice O. M. Anyachebelu, in order to safeguard the health of Judicial Officers, Court Officials, Users and Legal Practitioners, has issued the following directives:

“1. CRIMINAL MATTERS – Hearing in criminal matters where the defendant is produced from the custody of the Correctional Centers (Prisons) is suspended except in exceptional circumstances.

“Only applications for remand or bail and overnight cases shall be entertained and heard by the Court.


The Court shall give priority to –
i. Ex-parte and urgent applications
ii. Matters for adoption of written addresses
iii. Matters for delivery of judgments and/or rulings

“3( A). In all cases, (Criminal and Civil) only the parties and their counsel shall be allowed into the Court room, subject to a maximum number of TWENTY (20) PERSONS excluding Court officials at each time in the Court room. Witnesses shall remain outside the Court room until specifically called to give evidence.

“(B). Where the number of parties and counsel in the cases fixed for the day exceed TWENTY PERSONS the Court shall promptly indicate the sequence for hearing the cases on the cause list and direct parties and counsel involved in cases of later sequence to be outside the Court room until the earlier cases are finished.

A. While sitting in the Courtroom, a distance of about 6 feet shall be kept between persons.

“B. All Court officials are advised to wash their hands with soap and apply hand sanitizers regularly.

“The above directives shall come into force immediately and shall lapse after one month except otherwise directed.

“The Honourable the Chief Judge may, however, review and/or issue further directives as the exigency of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) warrants.”

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