Federal High Court begins vacation July 23, introduces use of E-Affidavits

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho, has announced the 2024 Annual Vacation and Roster for Vacation Judges of the trial Courts in the country. Justice Tsoho, in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, through the Federal High Court, Assistant Director Information and ICT, Catherine Christopher, stated that the annual 2024 vacation is slated to commence Tuesday, July 23, 2024, and billed to come to an end Friday, September 13, 2024.

According to the CJ, this is by the provisions of Order 46, Rule 4 (d) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019. He added, that Court sitting shall resume on Monday, September 16, 2024. Justice Tsoho explained that the vacation is necessary for the “judges to enjoy their well-deserved rest and to prepare for the tasks and activities of the New Legal year.” The statement noted that consequently, the Litigating public is at liberty to approach functional Courts amongst the three premier divisions; Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt, located nearest to them with Matters of extreme urgency. For the duration of the vacation, Justice Emeka Nwite and Justice Peter O. Lifu will be handling cases with urgency at the FHC, Abuja.

Justice Akintayo Aluko and Justice Isaac Dipeol will be available to handle cases in Lagos while Justice A. T. Mohammed and Justice P. M. Ayua, will be on the ground to handle litigation matters in Port Harcourt. Meanwhile, the court, in a separate statement, issued new practice directions on the use of its newly introduced Electronic Affidavit (E-Affidavit). The CJ maintained that the essence of the practice directions was to ensure an efficient, transparent and prompt issuance of E-Affidavits in compliance with global best practices.

He said the directions would not only protect the interest of litigants and other users who desire the use of E-Affidavit, but also regulate standard of issuance of E-Affidavit upon payment of prescribed fees. On how the E-Affidavit regime would be implemented, the court, stated: “Without prejudice to the provisions of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 and the Oaths Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010; all E-Affidavits of the Federal High Court shall emanate from the designated E-filling Unit of the Court.

“The E-Affidavit shall be in an electronic format with such specialized features as approved by the Court. “The application shall be made online from the official website of the Court. “The E-Affidavit software would be implemented by the E-filling Unit under the supervision of the Deputy Chief Registrar (Litigation). “For the purpose of swearing to an E-Affidavit under this provision, a deponent to the E-Affidavit shall upload his application electronically through a platform approved by the Chief Judge. “A task force shall be set up under the hand of the Chief Judge to give effect to this innovation. “The cost of each E-Affidavit shall be as approved and/or reviewed by the Chief Judge from time to time.

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