Witnesses to pen down evidence before appearing to court for examination.
Witnesses in cases involving election petition will have to submit in court written statements and affidavits and only come to court for confirmation of their evidence, cross-examination and re-examination. Chief Justice Owing Dolo has said.
The Chief Justice said this in a January 29, circular containing the guidelines aimed at preventing and mitigating the spread of Coronavirus.
He noted that the witnesses will be coming to court in a phased manner to avoid overcrowding in court rooms.
The circular further directed courts to designate a temporary separate spaces at the registry to specifically receive election petitions in order to promote social distancing and observance of Standard Operating Procedures.
CJ added that each judicial officer will handle only two cases in a day with a limited number of witnesses and advocates not exceeding 10.
“Each judicial officer shall not handle more than two election-related cases at the registry in a day at a specific time, one after another and the number of people in court shall be limited to only parties to the case, their advocates and specific witnesses as and when required,” CJ said.
“In cases where parties exceed 10 in a single election petition, the trial judge or judicial officer shall conduct trial using audio-visual facilities or use open spaces at court premises if possible.” CJ added.