Court rejects Dino Melaye’s suit challenging the Infectious Disease Bill

0
Court rejects Dino Melaye’s suit challenging the Infectious Disease Bill
Court rejects Dino Melaye’s suit challenging the Infectious Disease Bill

Legal moves to stop the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 initiated by the House of Representatives has failed on Tuesday at the Federal High Court.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Abuja division of the court dismissed the suit filed by a former Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye, challenging some provisions of the Bill for want of jurisdiction.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Abuja division of the court dismissed the suit filed by a former Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye, challenging some provisions of the Bill for want of jurisdiction.

The judge in her judgment upheld the notices of preliminary objection filed against the suit for lack of jurisdiction to hear it.

Read Also: Abia govt issues 7-day ultimatum to EFCC to unseal assets

She held that the issue raised in it was not justiciable, as the bill could not be a subject of litigation until it is signed into law.

Melaye had on May 5, filed the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020, urging the court to delete sections 5, 8, 15, 16 and 17 of the bill which he said constituted a violation or would likely violate his rights under the Nigerian Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

The provisions of the bill being contested by Melaye included the ones seeking to empower the Director-General of the NCDC to compel anyone to take medical examination or treatment and also collect the blood sample of such person in the case of a public health emergency.

Some of the provisions also seek to empower the NCDC to take over any premises and turn them into isolation centres without compensation for the owner.

The bill also seeks to arrest and detain a suspected infected person with his or her consent.

However, the plaintiff alleged that the controversial bill would specifically violate his fundamental rights to dignity of his person, personal liberty, private and family life, right to freedom of movement and right to own immovable property in Nigeria.

The respondents to the suit are the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

The judge, however, struck out the IGP’s name for the failure of the plaintiff to disclose any course of action against him.

Dino had specifically urged the court to declare that sections 3(8),5(3),6,8,13,15,16,17,19,23,30 and 47 of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020, which is currently being debated at the floor of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, is in breach, and or is likely to breach the fundamental rights of the Applicant as provided for in sections 33, 34,35,37,38 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 4, 6,7,10,11,12 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Articles 2(3),7,8,9,12,17,21 and 22 of The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights,1976, Articles 3,5,8,9,10,12,13,17 and 20 Of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights,1948 and are therefore unconstitutional, illegal, wrongful and amount to flagrant abuse of the fundamental rights of the Applicant.

An order of the order of court declaring the provisions of sections 3(8),5(3),6,8,13,15,16,17,19,23,30 and 47 of the Control Of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020, invalid and unconstitutional, as same constitutes a gross abuse of the fundamental rights of the Applicant and or will likely be infringing upon the fundamental rights of the Applicant if eventually passed into law.

An order of the court directing the 1st -3rd Respondents to delete the provisions of sections
3(8),5(3),6,8,13,15,16,17,19,23,30 and 47 of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020, as same are inconsistent with sections 33, 34,35,37,38 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Articles 4, 6,7,10,11,12 and 14 of the African Charter on
Human and Peoples’ Rights Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Articles 2(3),7,8,9,12,17,21 and 22 of The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights,1976, Articles 3,5,8,9,10,12,13,17 and 20 Of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights,1948 and constitute a gross abuse of the fundamental rights of the Applicant if eventually passed into law.

An order of injunction restraining the Respondents, whether, by themselves, their agents, employees, servants, privies and or howsoever called, from further proceeding with, or continuing with further debates with respect to sections 3(8),5(3),6,8,13,15,16,17,19,23,30 and 47 of the Control of Infectious
Diseases Bill 2020, which provisions breaches and or are likely to breach the fundamental rights of the Applicant as provided for sections 33, 34,35,37,38 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 4, 6,7,10,11,12 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Articles 2(3),7,8,9,12,17,21 and 22 of The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights,1976, Articles 3,5,8,9,10,12,13,17 and 20 Of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights,1948.