The Supreme Court has announced its decision to waive default fines and computation of time, among other things, in cases affected by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) strike that took place between April 6 and June 14.
The judgement is contained in a new set of practice guidelines issued by Nigeria’s Chief Justice (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.
The practice directions, which will be referred to as “the Supreme Court of Nigeria computation of time and payment of default fees (JUSUN strike period exemption) practice directions, 2021,” will go into effect on June 15 of this year.
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The goal, according to the CJN, is to lessen the impact of the strike on litigants and their counsel.
Part of it says, “Whereas the term of JUSUN strike will have a detrimental effect on the computation of time and payment of default fees by plaintiffs and their counsel who file procedures in the Supreme Court.”
Whereas it is critical to have practice instructions in place to reduce the financial burden on litigants and their lawyers during the period of the JUSUN strike,“In the exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 236 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Order 10 Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1985 (as amended) and by virtue of all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Honourable Dr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, hereby issue the following Practice Directions.
*Commencement: These practice directions shall commence and come into effect on the 15th day of June, 2021.
*Objective and guiding principle: The purpose of these practice directions is to alleviate the financial burden of litigants and their counsel when filing processes affected by the period of the JUSUN strike.
*Applicability: These practice directions shall, save to the extent and as may otherwise be ordered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, apply to computation of time for th purposes of filing of processes and payment of default fees or doing any act or taking any step that is time-bound in respect of any case before th Supreme Court in both civil and criminal matters affected by the JUSUN strike.
*Computation of time and payment of default fees: Notwithstanding any provision in the Supreme Court Rules, 1985, or any previous practice directions or instrument on computation of time for filling of. court processes or doing any act or taking any step as provided by the Rules or the Practice Directions or the Instrument and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period of the JUSUN stnke, starting from the 6th April, 2021 to the 14th June, 2021 shall be exempted.
*Citation: These practice directions shall be cited as the Supreme Court of Nigeria Computation of Time and Payment of Default Fees (JUSUN) strike period exemption) Practice Directions, 2021, made at Abuja this 15th day of June 2021.”