Human rights and constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has described the Infectious Diseases Control Bill introduced by the National Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.
Falana stated this when speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Wednesday.
Naija News reports that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had last week sponsored a bill titled “Control of Infection Diseases Bill 2020” which was passed for both first and second reading in the House of Representatives.
Gbajabiamila said the Bill was conceived in the best interests of the Nigerian people.
Nigerian Senate had also on Tuesday introduced its own Infectious Disease Control Bill under a new name amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Bill titled: “National Health Emergency Bill” sponsored by the Chairman Senate Committee on Communicable Diseases and Primary Healthcare, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) scaled first reading on Tuesday.
However, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West), a former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, kicked against the consideration of the bill on the ground that the draft copies had not been made available to senators to peruse.
Speaking on the Bill, Femi Falana warned that the efforts to replace the Quarantine Act was a waste of time.
According to the lawyer, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Prevention Act of 2018 has taken care of what lawmakers were trying to introduce.
Falana said: “It is pertinent to inform Nigerians that in November 2018, a law was enacted in this country – the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Act, NCDC Act, which has taken care of infectious diseases in the country.
“So, it is not correct, in fact, it is misleading on the part of the House of Representatives to say that it is amending the 1926 Quarantine Act because there is already a development between 1926 and now. You had the 2018 Act which has taken care of the entire provisions of the new bill.
“The new bill, as far as the law is concerned, is superfluous. Its provisions are largely illegal and unconstitutional.”