Reps threaten to sue promoters of $10m bribery allegation to pass Infectious Disease bill

The House of Representatives on Tuesday threatened to take legal action against promoters of the allegation bordering on $10 million inducement to pass the ‘Control of Infectious Diseases bill’ into law.

The resolution was passed sequel to the motion of personal explanation sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Idris Wase, who urged the House to take legal action.

Some of the lawmakers who spoke in support of the motion are: Majority Leader, Ado Doguwa; Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu and Obinna Chidoka.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, announced the resolve of the House to conduct a public hearing on the bill which seeks to repeal the Quarantine Act and enact the ‘Control of Infectious Diseases’ make provisions relating to quarantine and regulations for preventing the introduction into and spread in Nigeria of dangerous infectious diseases and for other related matters.’

To this end, Gbajabiamila said: “The Control of Infectious Diseases Bill will be put forward to a public hearing where stakeholder contributions will be sought to make improvements to the bill before it is reviewed and debated by the Committee of the whole.

“It is from the accumulation of these myriad views, suggestions and good faith critiques from within and outside the House that we will arrive at final legislation that meets the present and future needs of our country, and which we all can support in good conscience.

“The social distancing guidelines under which this House and the whole country operates for the time being means that the usual format of public hearings is not tenable. If a socially distant public hearing becomes workable, we will certainly explore that option.

“Nonetheless, the House will provide alternative platforms for all Nigerians who desire, to send in written documents that articulate their concerns, make recommendations on amendments and perhaps present other formulations for a new framework for managing infectious diseases in Nigeria. All the contributions we receive will be considered and aggregated to improve the proposed legislation.

“Finally let me say that all things are to be examined, and there are no limits set to the thoughts and imaginations that should animate the conversations about our nationhood. Yet these conversations must be factual and informed rather than conspiratorial and divisive.

“All Nigerians must ensure that the views we share publicly are well informed so that we can more effectively resist the winds of false doctrine that debase this collective enterprise of democratic governance. The commitment to informed public debate is a legacy we must all seek to leave behind.”

Also at plenary, the Chairman and members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 led by Boss Mustapha briefed the House on the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic across the country, especially in Kano State.

 

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