The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has slammed human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), for describing as illegal the order of President Muhammadu Buhari restricting movement in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states.
Malami said this in a statement on Monday.
Adegboruwa had said the President had no right to make such a proclamation without recourse to the National Assembly.
In his reaction, however, the AGF said the President did not commit any illegality.
He 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.
Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice, said the correct position remains that the President acted rightfully under the powers conferred on him by the Quarantine Act 1990 CAP 384 LFN which has the title: “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”.
The minister said it is not in doubt that COVID-19 is an infectious disease of a contagious nature which the President as rightly declared under Section 2 of the Quarantine Act to be a dangerous infectious disease.
“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.