The House of Representatives on June 10, 2020 prevented journalists from covering the Public Hearing of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill which was held at Hearing Room 028 at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja. The Public Hearing was organised by the House Committees on Health Services, Health Institutions and Justice.
The House of Representatives Press Corps members who turned up to cover the event were turned back by operatives of the Sergeant-at-Arms, who claimed they were acting on the instructions of the Chairman of the Health Services Committee, Hon. Dr. Tanko Yusuf Sunnu and the Committee’s Clerk, Joyce Umaru.
The National Assembly operatives who hid their identities said they were instructed to allow only journalists from the Nigerian Television (NTA) and Channels Television to cover the Public Hearing.
The Bill, sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Chairman, House Committee on Health Institutions, Pascal Obi; and Chairman of the Committee on Health Services, Tanko Sununu, seeks to repeal the Quarantine Act and enact the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, to make provisions relating to quarantine and regulations for preventing the introduction and spread of dangerous infectious diseases in Nigeria, and for other related matters.
It has raised a lot of controversies due to a number of its provisions which members of the civil society said will erode the human rights of citizens.