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COVID-19: Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa reacts as Buhari restricts movement in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has said President Buhari lacks the constitutional power to restrict the movement of persons without the approval of the National Assembly.

Within Nigeria had reported that President Buhari on Sunday evening, March 29, announced a 2-weeks lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state as part of measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

In a statement released on Sunday, March 29, Adegboruwa said the restriction of movement without lawmakers’ approval is illegal.

According to him, the Constitution requires that the President should first declare a state of emergency, which must be approved by the National Assembly before shutting down states.

His statement in part reads:

“We are running a constitutional democracy and it is illegal for the President to take over the affairs of any State of the Federation without the express consent of the people of that State through their elected representatives.

It is only the Governor of the State through the House of Assembly of the State that can make any declaration concerning the people of that State. Little wonder that the President could not cite any law that he relied upon for his declaration.

I support every measure taken to contain the Coronavirus pandemic but such must be in accordance with law. If we allow this to stay, then tomorrow the President may just impose total restriction on all States of the Federation for whatever reason” Adegboruwa said

He advised the President to reverse the restrictions and work with the states concerned in accordance with the laws of the land.

”I humbly urge the President to reverse the restrictions and work with the States concerned in accordance with the laws of our land.

Also, there must be measures put in place to address the financial consequences of the proposed shutdown, especially for small scale businesses, those who depend on daily earnings and the needy and vulnerable members of the societies to be affected.” he said

 
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