#COVID19: Human Rights Activist Vows To Challenge Buhari’s ‘Unconstitutional Lockdown’ in Court

by on March 30, 2020

The National Legal Adviser of the African Action Congress (AAC), Inibehe Effiong has vowed to challenge Nigerian Ruler, Buhari’s latest order to lockdown Lagos, FCT and Ogun state, in court.

This is coming hours after Buhari addressed the nation on the coronavirus pandemic.

The Human Rights Activist tweeted:


After a deep reflection on President Buhari’s decision to lockdown ALL movements in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja by presidential fiat for fourteen (14) days, I have resolved to challenge this unconstitutional action in court.”


Inibehe Effiong said that no responsible, democratic and civilised country will throw its constitution and laws into the dustbin in an effort to tackle a pandemic like COVID-19 the way Nigerian Ruler, Buhari has done.

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He pointed to the fact that freedom of movement is a fundamental right guaranteed by Section 41 of the Constitution and acknowledged that while this right is not absolute, Section 45 of the Constitution is clear to the effect that freedom of movement can only be taken away in the manner allowed by a law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society and that Buhari has not relied on any law.

He continued:

“No law has been passed by the National Assembly to empower Buhari to lockdown Nigeria or any part thereof on account of coronavirus. Buhari hasn’t issued regulations as required under the Quarantine Act. The President has not declared a state of emergency in Lagos, Ogun or Abuja.


“If Buhari is convinced that extraordinary measures are needed to contain coronavirus, the proper action would have been for him to issue an instrument published in the official Gazette of the Government and make a proclamation of a state of emergency in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.”


Iniobong maintained that Buhari could have asked the Senate President and Speaker of the National Assembly to convene the National Assembly to approve a state of emergency. He could have simply issued regulations pursuant to the Quarantine Act.

“But the Nigerian Ruler opted for his usual dictatorial ways of doing things”, he said.

Inibehe Effiong concluded:

“As a resident of Lagos State, I am directly affected by the illegal action of the President. I will seek redress in court either before or after the expiration of this unconstitutional lockdown since there is no limitation of time with respect to fundamental right actions.

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“President Buhari can either retrace his unconstitutional steps immediately and follow the due process of law or face my impending legal action. The choice is his.

All serious countries declared emergency, passed or invoked laws to tackle COVID-19.

Is Nigeria a banana republic?”

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