Groups sue National Assembly over regulatory bill, others

Chino Obiagwu


Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) under the auspices of Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN) have filed a suit against the National Assembly at the Federal High Court Abuja over alleged threat to their fundamental rights through a proposed regulatory bill.

In the suit, filed by their counsel, Chino Obiagwu, the NGOs want the court to stop the legislature from deliberating on the pending bill.In a 19-paragraph affidavit in support of the proposal, HRAN said they do not need to wait for the piece of legislation to be passed into law before initiating the action, noting that the content was likely to infringe on their rights in contravention of Section 46 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The civil society groups are also seeking a declaration that it was unconstitutional and unlawful for the defendants to consider, for the purposes of passing into law, a bill containing provisions that contravene the constitution, including the fundamental rights of the plaintiffs.

They averred that the NGO Regulatory Bill sponsored in 2015 by Duro Faseyi as well as the one initiated in 2016 by Umar Buba Jubril and the Civil Society Committee of Nigeria Bill mooted by Douye Diri also in 2016, constitute infringement or threat of infringement on their fundamental rights, especially as it relates to freedom of expression, assembly and association as well as non-discrimination as enshrined in Sections 39, 40 and 42 of the constitution.

The NGOs therefore held that the move was unconstitutional, null and void.They also prayed the court to restrain the defendants from continuing with any or further deliberation, consideration and/or passing into law of the bills in question.However, no date has been fixed for hearing.

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Chino Obiagwu


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