Senator Dino Melaye has filed a lawsuit against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and two others, Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu, over the controversial ‘Infectious Diseases Bill,’ which has passed second reading.
This was made known by Dino Melaye on Twitter, as he wrote;
“COVID-19 VACCINE: I have just filed a court action against the Speaker and House of Representatives on the wicked bill initiated by Hon Femi Gbajabiamila this morning at the Federal High Court Abuja. We shall overcome.
-Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye”
COVID-19 VACCINE: I have just filed a court action against the Speaker and House of Representatives on the wicked bill initiated by Hon Femi Gbajabiamila this morning at the Federal High Court Abuja. We shall overcome.
-Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye pic.twitter.com/qilvghpdYM
— Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM) (@dino_melaye) May 4, 2020
The controversial bill, which is being sponsored by Gbajabiamila, was said to have been designed to prevent the spread or possible outbreak of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
The bill seeks, amongst other things, to empower the Minister of Health to convert any building into an Isolation center during a pandemic or health crisis. At the same time, the police would be able to arrest any individual suffering from the infectious disease without a warrant.
The bill also proposes for a police officer to have the power to arrest, quarantine violators without a warrant.
Subsection 4 of the bill reads;
“A Health Officer or a police officer may take any action that is necessary to give effect to an order under subsection (3).” In contrast, subsection 5 reads, “Any person who, without reasonable excuse, contravenes an order under subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence.”
The bill also prescribes a six months jail term for violators of NCDC quarantine order.
Section 13 of the bill also sought to give the NCDC Director-General the power to order the isolation of people having or suspected to have an infectious disease for a period of time subject to the discretion of the DG. It added that such persons, including those who have recently recovered or being treated for such a disease, remain in isolation or be treated in their dwelling place.
The bill listed no fewer than 45 diseases. They include Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Avian Influenza, Campylobacteriosis, Chikungunya, Fever, Cholera, Dengue Fever, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, Diphtheria, Encephalitis, Viral Haemophilus Influenzae Type b Disease, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Hepatitis, Viral Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, Legionellosis, Leprosy, Malaria, Measles, Melioidosis, Meningococcal Disease, Mumps, Nipah Virus Infection, Paratyphoid, Pertussis, Plague, Pneumococcal Disease (Invasive), Poliomyelitis, Rubella, Salmonellosis, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
Others include Swine Influenza, Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever, Sexually Transmitted Infections — Chlamydia Genital Infection; Genital Herpes, Gonorrhea; Non-Gonococcal Urethritis; and Syphilis.
The second schedule of diseases includes; Dangerous Infectious Diseases, Plague, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Yellow Fever, Coronavirus disease, Diphtheria, Measles, Polio, and Meningitis.