Monitoring and Evaluating the Impact (Post-Legislative Scrutiny) of Emergency Regulation in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

A Case Study of Nigeria

  • Elohor Stephanie Onoge

Abstract

The threat posed by passing emergency laws and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be said to be a critical precursor of human rights abuses. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian President issued the COVID-19 REGULATION 2020 exercising his powers under the Federal Quarantine Act, CAP Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. Based on this, the Nigerian Federal Government has undertaken stringent measures, enforced restrictions and cessation of movement, social and economic activities in Nigeria to curtail the pandemic. Nigeria has employed human control to stop the disease's spread, including travel bans, quarantine orders, social distancing, and lockdowns. The measures applied to curtail the spread of COVID-19 have an undoubted impact on human rights.
The Nigerian government implemented these restrictive measures which impinge on human rights and democratic processes with authoritarian provisions. This study analyses the emergency measures implemented by the Nigerian government and human rights' infractions and considers Post-Legislative Scrutiny to mitigate the government's legislative actions as a safeguard for human rights and democracy in Nigeria.
To ensure true democracy, Nigerian regulations, laws, and policy response to COVID-19 must align with international human rights commitments. And the temporarily imposed restrictions on rights are reviewed by the Legislature and do not become permanent.
Questions to be addressed in this paper are:
(1) Is the breadth of powers currently enjoyed by executive bodies, such as Public Health authorities and security forces under scrutiny and review of the Legislature?
(2) Are there safeguards put in place by the Legislature, as an oversight to ensure democratic rule and respect for human rights in Nigeria?
The paper uses the qualitative research method. It relies on content analysis of COVID-19 regulatory and legislative provisions, academic literature, articles, journals, and newspaper publications.

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Published
2021-03-03