Human Right Lawyer and Social Commentator Abdul Mahmud has said the controversial Infectious diseases bill sponsored by House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila which seeks to repeal the Quarantine Act 2004 will create a legal brouhaha.
According to him, the bill seeks to strip powers granted to the President under the Quarantine Act and hand same powers over to the DG NCDC who’s an appointee of the President.
He said in this in an open letter to the Speaker shared on his official twitter handle.
See his tweets to the Speaker below…
Dear Hon. Speaker, Sir @femigbaja, greetings. Consequent on your plan to pass the Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 next Tuesday, I humbly wish to register my objection to your proposed plan hereunder. Grounds of my objection are set out seriatim as follows
1) As have been noted by Nigerians, your proposed Bill doesn’t anyway suit the peculiar democratic environment for which it is proposed, considering that the Singapore law
For which it is tailored (though many accuse you of plagiarism- a moral cross hung around the neck of your bill) is a product of an undemocratic and draconian era
2) Your bill does not address our peculiar circumstances as a nation fighting a serious public health crisis never experienced before in its history. No nation proposes a new law in the middle of a crisis capable of destroying it
3) Your Bill which seeks to repeal the Quarantine Act 2004 will create legal brouhaha as it seeks to strip powers granted to the President under the Quarantine Act and hand same powers over to the DG NCDC who’s an appointee of the President
4) Your Bill is in conflict with the fundamental rights provisions of Chapter 4 of the Constitution 1999 and the NCDC Act
5) And this important. The public hearing component of the 6th stage (Committee Consideration) of the law-naking process House has clearly been by-passed by your leadership.
Central to law-making are transparency and accountability. The House is accountable to the public, so for a Bill pass the test of scrutiny, the Bill must be subjected to a public hearing. Your Bill fails this test.
Sir, as a lawyer, please, don’t open up the strange way you have put up the current process of law-making which your Bill entails to legal challenge. As well know legislative action can be challenged by way of judicial review