Activist and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Nigeria in the interest of public health and safety.
This he said will force people to stay at home and ensure the ban on social gatherings and other forms of large gatherings put in place to curb further spread of coronavirus in the country is effective.
Falana noted that if a state of emergency is declared, measures such as the ban on large gatherings that are being ignored by some political and religious leaders can be enforced as disobedience will become a punishable offence.
“In order to stem the dangerous trend the Federal Government should put necessary legal measures and mechanisms in place without any further delay,” the statement read.
“In particular, the attention of the Nigerian people ought to be drawn to section 45 of the Constitution which provides that the fundamental rights of citizens to personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and association etc may be infringed upon or restricted in the interest of public health and public safety.
“Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, issue a proclamation of a state of emergency in the entire Federation pursuant to section 305 (1) of the Constitution.
“Once the proclamation is issued by the President and published it is required to be approved by a resolution supported by two-thirds majority of each house of the national assembly.
“Once the measures are set out in the said proclamation they will have the force of law capable of being enforced by the police and other security agencies. If President Buhari does not declare a state of emergency state governors are advised to issue Executive Orders to address the health challenge,” Falana declared in a statement on Monday.
Meanwhile, Naija News reports Nigeria recorded its first death from the COVID-19 disease on Monday as the number of confirmed cases increased to 35.