The Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned to hear a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 signed in March by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in response to the menace of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plaintiff in the suit, Olukoya Ogungbeje, is seeking a court declaration that the Lagos law is inconsistent with provisions of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution relating to fundamental human rights.
Ogungbeje, a lawyer, told the court that he had a duty “to protect and defend the sanctity of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from any contravention or infraction.”
He is praying the court to quash the conviction and sentencing of popular actress, Funke Akindele, alias Jenifa, her husband, Abdu-rasheed Bello, and 236 others arrested, tried and convicted pursuant to the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.
He urged the court to declare that “the purported arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction and sentencing of persons/Nigerian citizens under the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 for an alleged offence unknown to law and violation of same, which cannot be grounds for criminal liability is a nullity.”
He urged the court to hold that by virtue of the Court of Appeal’s pronouncement in the case of Faith Okafor vs Lagos State Govt. and ANOR on November 4, 2016, “a directive issued by a governor is not a law and violation of same cannot result in criminal liability.”
The lawsuit, which is before Justice Maureen Onyetenu, has been adjourned till July 10 for hearing.