Nigerians need to know that the House of Representatives is organising a public hearing
ON THE INFECTIOUS DISEASES PROHIBITION AND CONTROL BILL on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11June 2020.
Senator Dino Melaye
Few points to note as the public hearing starts tomorrow Wednesday 10th June.
1. I had done several videos before on this obnoxious, criminal and anti-peoole bill. I have also sued them in court on the breach of our people’s fundamental human rights.
They would start confiscating people’s properties as isolation centres. No provision for compensation. Offends Land Use Act
2. This 1926 Quarantine Act being reviewed by the House of Rep’s was reviewed in 2004. Why don’t they build and amend the 2004 Infectious Disease Act? Why wasting tax payers money to start afresh from 1926 Act?
3.Nations copy laws to adapt and suit local conditions. This Infectious Disease Bill was lifted from Singaporean Infectious Disease Act which was drafted when Singapore was under a dictatorship of Lean Kwan Yau. It was not a democracy. House of Rep’s being lazy didnt bother to adapt it to suit Nigerias democratic culture and fundamental human rights.
4. SOME AREAS OF CONCERN INCLUDES:
A) Section 15, which states in part,
“The Minister may, for the purpose of preventing the spread or possible outbreak of an infectious disease,…declare any premises to be an isolation area.”
B) Section 24, police officers now have the power to “apprehend and take” anyone in any public location who is “suffering from an infectious disease.” A sore throat is an infectious disease. The common cold is an infectious disease.
DANGER: A police officer who is not a medical officer cannot know an infectious disease as to know who to arrest. Very soon they would start arresting opposition figures for coughing in public places.
C). Section 20 ends the right to free association.
It empowers the DG to prevent any kind of meeting whatsoever as long as he determines that it somehow “increases the spread of an infectious disease.”
DANGER: The only condition is that the DG must find the gathering to be dangerous in his opinion. This is against the 1999 constitution.And it gives the NCDC DG wild powers to stop any meeting he doesn’t like including sealing up of churches.
D). Section 55 requires any person to provide any book, document, correspondence or information requested by the DG and it also gives the DG unrestricted power to enter and search any premises without the need of warrant.
In other words, the DG acting for himself or on orders of the President , can attack a journalist or whistleblower who wants to go public with embarrassing information, there is now a legal basis for state-sanctioned thuggery.
This is also against FREE PRESS AND WHISTLE BLOWERS POLICY.
E) Section 71 states that the DG and his enforcers in the police and paramilitary forces can never be held accountable and never liable for what they use these powers to do.
They cannot be sued or charged for any civil or criminal action committed while in the office.
DG NCDC now has immunity while in office. No wonders shall never end.
F) Other sections provided for vacation for the pandemic. Yet S. 31 provided for another vacation for travellers entering or leaving Nigerias as may be prescribed. Any criminal vacine including vaccination to implant chips in the body. The Singaporean version here said vaccination as provided in schedule 3. The schedule 3 listed Yellow Fever vaccination for travellers. Curiously, Nigeria version omitted schedule 3 and left the vaccination vague.
G) A Health Officer or a police officer may take any action that is necessary to give effect to an order under subsection”
It includes shoot at sight. The action was not defined.
Finally, House of Rep’s should jettison this Bill for breach of the constitution and failure to protect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
After the pandemic, experiences gathered by Ncdc and other stakeholders should be used to draft a more comprehensive Infection Disease Control Bill