How justice saved Gbajabiamila’s Infectious Diseases Control Bill, threw out Melaye’s suit


In spite of opposition to the passage of the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control Bill 2020 proposed by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and others in the House of Reps in April, the odds seem in favour of passing the bill into law as the first sit against it got dismissed.

Former Sen. Dino Melaye filed the first suit in May, asking for sections 5, 15, 16, and 17 to be struck out by court because they impinge on his fundamental human rights.

Melaye joined as respondents the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

But a federal high court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed the suit.

Presiding Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu upheld the notices of preliminary objection filed against the suit for lack of jurisdiction to hear it.

She held that the issue raised could not be a subject of litigation until it is signed into law. She also struck out the IGP’s name for the failure of the plaintiff to disclose any course of action against him.

Other individuals and civil society organisations have also screamed blue murder over the bill which has passed a second reading in the House. A controlled public hearing was equally organized.

Some of the contentions include the powers giver to the NDC director-general, the potential abuse of power to violate freedom of individual possession, to decide for tests, and arrest without warrants.