Buhari signs COVID-19 Act after lockdown criticisms, lawsuit threats

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, signed the COVID-19 Regulations, 2020.

The Act declared coronavirus a dangerous infectious disease.

The signing was contained in a statement by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina.

It said the president relied powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004).

The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020.

These include Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

“In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations”, the statement added.

Some journalists, legal practitioners, prominent Nigerians had condemned the lockdown.

They argued it was unconstitutional and had no legal backing as at the time of announcement.

The critics included Wole Soyinka, Dino Melaye, Inibehe Effiong among others.

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