A human rights lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), has said the President Muhammadu Buhari does not have the power to restrict movement without recourse to the National Assembly.
In a statement released, Adegboruwa said the restriction of movement by the President is illegal without the approval by the lawmakers.
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
”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.”