The House of Representatives has described as erroneous, reports by certain print and online media outfits, that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered it to suspend legislative action on the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020.
This is contained in a statement by the Spokesman, Benjamin Kalu.
The statement described the reports as a misrepresentation of facts which has in turn misled various other media outfits and the general public.
“The court in its wisdom and in the interest of justice and fair hearing, declined to grant the reliefs sought by the Applicant in order to enable the Respondents in the case to appear before it and enter a defence”.
For the sake of clarity, the crux of the court’s decision in the above is reproduced hereunder, “Upon hearing this Motion Ex-parte as moved by learned counsel to the Applicant and upon careful consideration of the averments in the affidavit in support, Exhibits attached and the written and oral address of learned counsel, the Court is of the view that bearing in mind the weighty averments in the affidavit in support which are intended to stay the Legislative actions of the Respondents in regard to the Bill in disputation and the exigencies of the times (that is to say the COVID-19 pandemic) and the attendant hysteria in the polity, the Court is of the opinion, that it is in the interest of justice to hear the Respondents before making a long term decision in this case”.
The House said it is unfortunate that the purport of the interim order was wrongly reported.
The House insists 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.