All court processes now to be quarantined for 96 hours– says Enugu CJ

Chief Judge of Enugu State, Ngozi Emehelu says, henceforth, hard copies of all court processes to be filed in the courts must be quarantined for a period not less than 96 hours before processing.

Emehelu said this in a circular entitled ‘Practice Direction for Gradual Resumption of Sittings of Courts in Enugu State Judiciary’ and obtained by the Newsmen in Enugu.

The chief judge said that the directives in the document dated May 15, would take effect from May 25 and would apply to all levels of courts including the Enugu State Multi Door Court House (ESMDC).

She said that the National Judicial Council (NJC) had in a correspondence, Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/11/660 of May 2020 issued guidelines for court sittings and related matters in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) period.

According to her, the Chief Registrar shall ensure the hard copy of the processes to be filed are sanitised by dedicated court officials as soon as they are brought to the registry.

Emehelu explained that such processes would be left in secure facilities immediately, thereafter, for a minimum period of 96 hours without processing.

She said that if there was any COVID-19 still attached to the processes, it would have expired before the expiration of the period.

“At the expiration of the quarantine period afore-specified, the processes shall be brought out from the secured facilities and processed by the court officials,” she said.

Emehelu said that in keeping with the safety protocols recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), “not more than 20 persons are to be in the court room”.

“This includes court officials keeping a distance of not less than two metres to each other at any point in time.

“Everyone coming into the court premises, including judges, drivers, and orderlies are to wear face masks,” she said.

The chief judge said that infrared thermometer to test the temperature of court users would be positioned at the court premises entrance gate

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