Senator Dino Melaye has instituted a lawsuit against the speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila over the bill to strengthen the NCDC.
Melaye made this known on Twitter on Monday morning, May 4 referring to the bill as wicked.
“I have just filed a court action against the Speaker and House of Representatives on the wicked bill initiated by Hon Femi Gbajabiamila this morning at the Federal High Court Abuja. We shall overcome,” he wrote.
The NCDC bill was sponsored by House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and it seeks to strengthen the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and make it more proactive and “not just reactive and function when there is an outbreak.”
The piece of legislation seeks to empower the president, the minister of health as well as the director-general of NCDC, and the institutions they head, to make regulations on quarantining, vaccination, and prevention of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila, while presenting the bill, said the Quarantine Act provides a penalty of N500 for defaulters, but the new bill proposes a penalty of between N200,000 and N5 million as well as jail terms.
A move by the House of Representatives to repeal the Quarantine Act and enact the Control of Infectious Diseases bill stirred controversy. The bill already scaled second reading before it was stood down on by other members of the house and the general public. The bill has 82 sections.
While some members of the House backed the bill, some called for caution and asked for time before giving it further consideration