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Court dismisses Melaye’s suit against infectious diseases bill

Court dismisses Melaye’s suit against infectious diseases bill
June 30
13:28 2020

A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by Dino Melaye, former senator representing Kogi west, seeking to stop the infectious diseases control bill.

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Melaye had filed the suit against Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, and four others seeking the protection of his fundamental rights over the bill.

According to Melaye, the bill threatens “the dignity of person, personal liberty, right to private and family life, right to freedom of movement and right to own immovable property in Nigeria”.

The bill also gives the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the minister of health powers to declare “any premises” as an isolation centre and empowers the police and health officers to do whatever that is ”necessary” to enforce some provisions.

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Other respondents in the suit are the clerk of the national assembly, the clerk of the house of representatives, Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, and Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police.

Delivering judgment in the suit on Tuesday, Ijeoma Ojukwu, the judge, said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit.

She said the court can only exercise its powers on a law that has been enacted.

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Ojukwu added that the plaintiff’s suit is premature and non-justiciable as the national assembly is still deliberating on the bill.

The court upheld the preliminary objections of the respondents and dismissed the suit.

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