News Across National Questioning Legality of Lagos, Ogun, FCT Lockdown of Buhari...

Questioning Legality of Lagos, Ogun, FCT Lockdown of Buhari Unnecessary, Says VP Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has described as quite unnecessary the questioning of the legality of the lockdown order by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Osinbajo, in a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, reacting to the mixed reactions that have followed the order, said it is legal as the steps are proactive, very relevant, important and backed by law.

The Vice President also later explained that by virtue of the constitutional rules, the 1926 Act is deemed to be an Act of the National Assembly.

“I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act.  There is a Quarantine Act of 1926, it’s been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there,” the vice president said.

 Referring specifically to the part of the legislation that empowers the President to order movement restrictions in any part the country, Prof. Osinbajo said, “what the Act does is that it allows the President to designate any local area, any part of the country, as a place that may be infected or under the threat of a communicable disease, and he can then make regulations of any kind.

“For instance, he can say, people should not go out; no public gatherings etc. So, it is a regulation that gives the President powers and these powers come from the National Assembly because, of course, it is an act of the National Assembly.

“So, the President has extensive powers under the Quarantine Act of 1926. Also, Governors have extensive powers under the same Quarantine Act.”

 Prof. Osinbajo urged all interested individuals and groups to personally go through the legislation in order to understand the provisions therein, noting that “it is barely a one page legislation, so it is not particularly difficult to find the relevant provisions and it is not particularly difficult to read, very straightforward. So, the President has all the powers.”

 Speaking further about the legal precedent for the President’s ‘no movement order’, Prof. Osinbajo said “many of us are not familiar with the Influenza pandemic that killed several millions around the world in 1918. At that time regulations were made here, very similar to what we have today, although that was under the colonial authorities.

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