As a sequel to our recent Thought Leadership publication on the management of commercial transactions amid the lockdown in Nigeria arising from COVID-19, this publication addresses questions relating to access to court and claims management.

On 23 March 2020, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (“CJN”) issued a circular which directed all Heads of Court to “suspend Court sittings for an initial period of two weeks at the first instance, except in matters that are urgent, essential or time-bound,” followed by another on 06 April 2020 which suspended court proceedings until further notice. Barely a week after the CJN’s initial circular, the President, on 30 March 2020, directed a 14-day lockdown of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, along with
Lagos State, the commercial hub, and Ogun State (together, “Lockdown States”). The President extended the lockdown in the Lockdown States by another 14 days on Monday, 13 April 2020, and several state governments have since introduced similar measures in their respective states.