Immediate past Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary, MR. JONATHAN TAIDI argues in this piece that following the strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the Practice Directions issued by heads of courts suspending payment of default fees and penalty which accrued during the strike period will go a long way to ameliorate the financial losses wrought by the closure of courts

The over two months old suspended strike of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) left lawyers financially handicapped as clients suspended their financial obligations. Our court rooms across the country were for the first time under lock and key for non natural cause which made it more devastating than the Covid-19 induced lockdown. This also left the litigating public stranded.

As a result of this negative impact on the lawyer and the litigants, the intervention of heads of courts by way of Practice Direction to suspend default fees and penalty payments which accrued during the strike period will go a long way in ameliorating the heavy financial losses occasioned by the court’s closure.

There is no doubt that the court dockets have exceeded saturation point due to the Covid-19 pandemic and attendant slow adaptation of technology and the pile-up due to the strike action. The best and only way to clear the backlog is by soliciting for the understanding of their Lordships to embark on a staggered 2021 annual courts vacation to cover up for the period of the strike action in order to compensate for the already truncated months as a result of the strike.

This will go a long way in aiding lawyers, old and young at the bar, get back to their practice.

A desirable timely succor.

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