President Muhammadu Buhari acted within the purview of the law by imposing movement restrictions in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has said.
The minister said this in a statement on Monday while reacting to a lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, who had argued that there was no section of the constitution supporting the president’s order.
Buhari I’m a national broadcast on Sunday, had imposed a two weeks movement restriction on Lagos, Ogun and Abuja as a measure to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease.
But Adegboruwa argued, that Buhari could not issue such a directive, without going through the National Assembly.
The AGF in his statement, said:
“It is important to inform the discerning members of the public that the President did not make a declaration of a state of emergency under Section 305(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which would have required the concurrence of both House of the National Assembly.
“Even at that Section 305(6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) permits a proclamation of a State of Emergency to run for a period of 10 days without the approval of the National Assembly when the parliament is not in session as in the present situation wherein the National Assembly has shut down.
“The learned silk also goofed when he questioned the President’s powers to restrict movement and claiming that such powers can only be exercised by the state governors and the respective state assemblies.
“It is clear from the President’s broadcast that what His Excellency sought to address is a public emergency occasioned by a dangerous and infectious coronavirus disease. The restriction of movement came on the heels of advice received by the President from the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, the two focal agencies in the fight against COVID-19.”
“An Act to provide for and regulate the imposition of quarantine and to make other provisions for preventing the introduction into and spread in Nigeria, and the transmission from Nigeria, of dangerous infectious diseases”.
“Section 3 of the Act enables the President to declare any part of Nigeria as an infected area. Section 4 of the Act further empowers the President to make regulations to prevent the introduction, spread and transmission of any dangerous infectious disease.
“Section 6 of the Act requires the President and State Governors to provide sanitary stations, buildings and equipment. Thus, in recognition of the critithe Act,” he said.
“The President has so far acted in accordance with the executive powers of the federation conferred on him under Section 5(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the provisions of Section 14(2)(b) which provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
Nigeria has recorded its second coronavirus death as cases in the country increased to 131.