Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a complaint filed by Senator Dino Melaye, challenging certain parts of the infamous Infectious Disease Control Bill 2020, also known as the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Bill.
In delivering judgment in the case today 30 June, Justice Ojukwu held that her court lacks the jurisdiction to hear and determine Melaye’s issues presented in the case. She also stated that the problems posed in the case were not justifiable because a bill really shouldn’t be a litigation subject until it became a law.
Dino who represented Kogi West Senatorial district in the Eight Senate had on May 5, 2020, filed the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020, urging the court to delete sections 5, 8, 15, 16 and 17 of the bill which he said constituted a violation or would likely violate his rights and those of Nigerians under the Nigerian Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
He faulted the Bill’s provisions seeking to empower the NCDC’s Director-General to compel anyone to take medical examination or treatment and also to collect such person’s blood sample in the event of an emergency in public health. He also called into question the clause in the bill that aims to allow the NCDC to take over any property and turn them into isolation centers without the owner being paid.
Clerk of the National Assembly, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) joined in the suit as the respondents.