By Amaka Obi Abuja
The House of Representation has decided to continue to process the infectious bill in accordance with it’s statutory powers, notwithstanding the ruling of a Federal High Court and the appeal by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
Hon. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, ), in a statement yesterday, said
“The House of Representatives notes with dismay the erroneous reports by certain print and online media outfits, in what appears to be willful or malicious misinterpretations of the decision of the court in suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020 on 13th May 2020, asserting that a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has ordered the House to suspend the ongoing process of the consideration of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020 (the “Bill”); a misrepresentation of facts which has, in turn, misled various other media outfits and the general public.
“While the House encourages the public and all media outfits to verify and refer to the certified true copy of the court’s order in all further social commentary or report on the subject matter, it has become necessary to set the record straight.
“The truth of the matter is that although the applicant, by way of a motion exparte, sought a court order suspending the consideration of the Bill by the House, the court, in its wisdom and in the interest of justice and fair hearing, declined to grant the reliefs sought by applicant in order to enable the respondents in the case to appear before it and enter a defence.”
“The House, therefore, wishes to put the order of the court in proper perspective and state that the act of legislation is a sacred and constitutional responsibility which should not be subjected to flimsy or superficial reportage in the interest of our democracy.
“While the respondents await official service of processes in the abovementioned suit as directed by the court, the House reiterates that as a creation of the Nigerian Constitution, it will continue to perform its lawful mandate without jeopardizing its healthy deference to the judicial system and the process of adjudication,” He said.