Lack of service of court papers stalls hearing of Dino’s suit on infectious diseases bill

•As Court slates June 1 for hearing

Lack of service of court processes on Wednesday stalled the hearing of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 filed by former Senator Dino Melaye before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned the matter to June 1, 2020, to enable the applicant to serve his processes on all counsel in the matter.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Mr Kayode Ajulo,  representing the House of Representatives said that he was yet to receive the processes of the applicant and was therefore not ready for the matter.
Ajulo however, accepted service of the court papers in the court, following the directive of the trial judge.
It would be recalled that the former senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District had dragged the Clerk of the National Assembly, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police to court over the controversial, “Control of Infectious Disease Bill 2020”.
The bill which was sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other lawmakers, Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu, seeks to empower the Federal Government to, upon mere suspicion that a person is infected with an infectious disease, arrest and detain the person for as long as necessary.
Section 37 of the  Bill also seeks to empower the Federal Government to direct compulsory vaccination in an outbreak or a suspected outbreak of an infectious disease.
Melaye approached the court under the fundamental human rights enforcement to the dignity of his person, personal liberty, right to private and family life, right to freedom of movement and to own immovable property in Nigeria.”
Mr. Nkemakolam Okoro, counsel to Melaye had, argued that several sections of the bill were likely to infringe on the rights of both his client and other Nigerians.
“A situation whereby Nigerians are made to be forcefully vaccinated, where they cannot travel out or come into the country without being subjected to forceful vaccination, the situation whereby the Director-General of the centre for disease control can just see you on the road and arrest you without any test and subject you to detention for as long as he wants on mere suspicion that you may be having an infectious disease.
“A situation whereby the Director-General can invade any premises or acquire your property without payment of compensation, are issues we have with the bill and we think those provisions, if passed into law are likely to infringe upon the fundamental rights of Nigerians, ” Okoro said.
He is, therefore, praying the court for an order declaring some sections of the bill invalid and unconstitutional, as same constituted a gross abuse of the fundamental rights of his client and or will likely be infringing upon the fundamental rights of his client and Nigerians if eventually passed into law.

 

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