Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency over the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria.
Falana said if the president failed to do so, the state governors should issue executive orders to address the disease.
“In order to stem the dangerous trend the Federal Government should put necessary legal measures and mechanisms in place without any further delay,” he said in a statement issued Monday.
“In particular, the attention of the Nigerian people ought to be drawn to section 45 of the Constitution which provides that the fundamental rights of citizens to personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and association etc may be infringed upon or restricted in the interest of public health and public safety.
“Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, issue a proclamation of a state of emergency in the entire Federation pursuant to section 305 (1) of the Constitution.
“Once the proclamation is issued by the President and published it is required to be approved by a resolution supported by two-thirds majority of each house of the national assembly.
“Once the measures are set out in the said proclamation they will have the force of law capable of being enforced by the police and other security agencies. If President Buhari does not declare a state of emergency state governors are advised to issue Executive Orders to address the health challenge.”
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday confirmed the country’s first death from coronavirus.
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