JUST IN: Court dismisses Melaye’s suit against NCDC Bill

A suit filed by Senator Dino Melaye challenging some provisions of the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 has been rejected by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

During the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu ruled that the court lack jurisdiction to hear the case.

The judge who did not bother to consider the case on merit held that the issue raised in it was not justiciable, as the bill could not be a subject of litigation until it is signed into law.

Listed as respondents to the suit are 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 (AGF) and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

Justice Ojukwu struck out the name of the IGP as a party to the case, on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to disclose any cause of action against him.

Melaye 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 under the Nigerian Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

The plaintiff had faulted provisions of the Bill seeking to empower the Director-General of the NCDC to compel anyone to take medical examination or treatment and also collect the blood sample of such person in the case of a public health emergency.

He queried the provision to empower the NCDC to take over any premises and turn them into isolation centres without compensation for the owner.

Melaye also faulted the bill which seeks to arrest and detain a suspected infected person with his or her consent.

The plaintiff alleged that the controversial bill would specifically violate his fundamental rights to dignity of his person, personal liberty, private and family life, right to freedom of movement and right to own immovable property in Nigeria.

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