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Dino Melaye blocks Infectious Disease bill from passing into law

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The controversial infectious bill which passed second reading in the House of Representatives on Friday blocked in a Court judgement instituted by Dino Melaye.

Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court has ordered that the status quo on the infectious disease bill be maintained.

With the development on the bill, it would not be passed into law untill concern of Dino who is an interested party is addressed.

The Court also summoned the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, as well as the clerk of the National Assembly to appear before it over the bill.

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Dino Melaye formerly represented Kogi West Senatorial district in the eight National Assembly.

In the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020, the former lawmaker cited alleged breach of his right to freedom and life before the Federal High Court in Abuja, while he sought that the bill be stopped.

In a motion ex parte dated May 13, 2020, the court stated, “An order of this honourable court is hereby made mandating the respondents to appear before this court on May 20, 2020, to show cause why the application of this applicant should not be granted.

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“Should the respondents fail to attend court on the date stated for the hearing on this matter, the reliefs sought ex parte shall be granted.”

Since its introduction two weeks ago, the infectious diseases bill has drawn a wide range of controversies.

Sponsored by Gbajabiamila, the bill seeks to, among other things, make possession of health card mandatory for international travellers leaving or arriving in Nigeria — just like yellow fever card.

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Adapted from a similar law in Singapore, some Nigerians have labelled it as draconian and unfit for a democratic Nigeria.

Some of the opposition to the bill also questioned the powers it vested in the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the health minister to convert any property to an isolation centre.

In the similar misgivings, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has also questioned the rationale behind the bill, alledging that the House of Representatives was bribed to pass the bill against Nigerians.

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