The Federal High Court Abuja on Monday, fixed June 15 for definite hearing of the suit filed by Sen. Dino Melaye challenging the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020.
The bill which is sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other lawmakers; Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu, seeks to empower the Federal Government to convert any property in the country, including private properties, to isolation centres.
The bill also seeks to empower the government to, upon mere suspicion that a person is infected with an infectious disease, arrest and detain the person for as long as necessary among other things.
The presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned the matter until June 15 and advised parties not to take any action that will jeopardise the action since it was already in court.
When the matter was called, counsel to Melaye, Mr Nkem Okoro told the court that the matter was for hearing, however, some respondents had served
” On Friday, the 4th respondent equally served on us a notice of preliminary objection and a counter affidavit and the 3rd respondent on Thursday, via WhatsApp, also sent us his notice of preliminary objection.
“In view of this development, I will be applying for a short adjournment to enable us respond to all these processes served on us,” Okoro said.
He further prayed the court to ask all the respondents not to take any decision on the matter pending its hearing and determination by the court. Counsel to Gbajabiamila, Mr Kayode Ajulo, urged the court to discountenance the request by Okoro saying he should have filed it properly if he was not “playing to the gallery”.
Melaye, had dragged Gbajabiamila; the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to court over the controversial “Control of Infectious Disease Bill 2020”.
Melaye also joined the clerks of the senate and House of Representatives as respondents.
Melaye approached the court under “the fundamental rights enforcement to the dignity of his person, personal liberty, right to private and family life, right to freedom of movement and right to own immovable property in Nigeria.”