President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has signed the COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared the coronavirus as a dangerous infectious disease.
The signing of the Act was disclosed on Monday in a statement by the special adviser to Buhari on media and publicity, 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 Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, a senior advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegoruwa, Senator Dino Melaye, a lawyer Inibehe Effiong among others.