COVID-19: A MESSAGE TO LAWYERS, LAW FIRMS AND THE COURTS
Yesterday, I made a statement urging us all to take the Corona virus seriously and to take measures to protect ourselves.
My media team has helped me put up some electronic fliers on various ways to prevent the spread of this virus.
Today, I write to urge that the following additional steps be taken.
For those who have cases in court fixed for this period, I urge you to consider communicating with the courts to seek an adjournment. Send a letter or better still, call the registrar of court or send a text message. Unless your matter is of extraordinary urgency, please call for an adjournment. The courts will understand. The Lagos and Ogun States’ High Courts have both issued notices restricting activities in their their courts and I expect other states to do the same in short order. We need to stop the spread of this virus before we are overwhelmed.
For those of us operating law firms, I encourage us to, as much as possible, avoid visiting the offices unless we absolutely have to. When we have to, we must ensure proper sanitation, availability of sanitizers, clean water, soap and tissue.
This circumstance will cause all of us to bear some financial loss, but we must realize that continuing with business as usual during this period and making our staff come to work in this condition increases the risk of infection for all staff and members of their families. We need to ensure that, as much as possible, all work is done remotely and sanitary conditions are at their highest.
As I write, we have twenty-two (22) confirmed cases and several other persons are being tracked and watched for possible infection. One of the persons visiting your office may have been in contact with any of these people.
In addition, making your staff commute to work means that you are exposing them (and by extension, you and your family) to possible infection.
I urge the NBA to take steps to ensure that safety measures are put in place by its members or persons who employ its members.
We all need to unite and play our part in stopping Corona before it stops us all.
Let’s do better.
Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb