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Infectious diseases bill illegal, superfluous —Falana

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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, on Wednesday described theInfectious Diseases Bill before the House of Representatives as superfluous, illegal and unconstitutional.

According to Falana, attempts at replacing the Quarantine Act was a waste of time, adding that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, and Prevention Act of 2018 has taken care of what the legislators are trying to achieve.

Falana, who stated this when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said: “It is pertinent to inform Nigerians that in November 2018, a law was enacted in this country – the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Act, NCDC Act, which has taken care of infectious diseases in the country.

“So, it is not correct, in fact, it is misleading on the part of the House of Representatives to say that it is amending the 1926 Quarantine Act because there is already a development between 1926 and now. You had the 2018 Act which has taken care of the entire provisions of the new bill.

“The new bill, as far as the law is concerned, is superfluous. Its provisions are largely illegal and unconstitutional.”

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It would be recalled that the introduction of the Infectious Diseases Bill and attempts by the House of Representatives to accord it an accelerated passage had attracted criticism from different quarters, as the lawmakers, especially the sponsors of the Bill, including the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, were accused of having ulterior motives.

Gbajabiamila however on Tuesday said the Bill was conceived in the best interests of the Nigerian people.

He further stated that the allegation that the Bill is a sinister attempt to turn the citizens into guinea pigs for medical research and take away their fundamental human rights was far from the truth.

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