Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency, as the cases of coronavirus begins to rise in Nigeria.
Recall that the Federal Government has already put in place a travel ban, suspended large gatherings and ordered the closure of schools, in a bid to curb the spread.
But some of the directives, especially the ban on large gatherings, have been ignored by some political and religious leaders.
Falana in a statement on Monday, urged Buhari to declare a state of emergency, to further establish the urgency of the matter.
It read: “In order to stem the dangerous trend the Federal Government should put necessary legal measures and mechanisms in place without any further delay.
“In particular, the attention of the Nigerian people ought to be drawn to section 45 of the Constitution which provides that the fundamental rights of citizens to personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and association etc may be infringed upon or restricted in the interest of public health and public safety.
“Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, issue a proclamation of a state of emergency in the entire Federation pursuant to section 305 (1) of the Constitution.
“Once the proclamation is issued by the President and published it is required to be approved by a resolution supported by two-thirds majority of each house of the national assembly.
“Once the measures are set out in the said proclamation they will have the force of law capable of being enforced by the police and other security agencies. If President Buhari does not declare a state of emergency, state governors are advised to issue Executive Orders to address the health challenge.”
Falana also called for the decongestion of detention facilities, including correctional centres and police stations.
Nigeria on Monday, recorded its first deaths linked to the COVID-19.