A controversial bill sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and two of his colleagues, seeking to empower the Federal Government to convert any property in the country, including private properties, to isolation centres has continued to attract criticisms.
Apart from members of the House who protested that they were not served copies while it was read at plenary on Tuesday, before it hurriedly passed first and second readings on the same day, lawyers and many other Nigerians have described the bill as draconian and suspicious.
there were accusations that the sponsors plagiarised the law on disease control in Singapore. Those who made the accusations, included the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, which alleged that over 90 per cent of the content was plagiarised from Singapore’s law.
The bill, titled, ‘Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020’, was sponsored by Gbajabiamila, Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu. They said the proposed law was designed to prevent the spread or possible outbreak of infectious diseases.
The new bill, which passed first and second readings at the plenary on Tuesday, was described as, ‘A bill for an act to repeal the Quarantine Act (1926) and enact the Control of Infectious DiseaseAct, make provisions relating to quarantine and make regulations for preventing the introduction into and spread in Nigeria of dangerous infectious diseases, and for other related matters.’