Court rejects Dino Melaye’s suit challenging the Infectious Disease Bill


Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected a suit filed by Senator Dino Melaye, challenging some sections of the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020, also referred to as the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Bill. Delivering judgment in the suit today June 30, Justice Ojukwu held that her court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine issues raised in the suit by Melaye. She also held that the issues raised in the suit were not justifiable as a Bill could not be a subject of litigation until it becomes 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 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 also queried the provision in the bill that seeks to empower the NCDC to take over any premises and turn them into Isolation centers without compensation for the owner. Joined in the suit as respondents were 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).
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