Posted by News Express | 10 August 2021 | 537 times
Citizens and residents Of Cross River State have expressed their displeasures against the state government’s decision to continue the statewide Curfew, which has lasted for over ten months, since when it was introduced on October 23, 2020, as a result of the looting of palliative warehouses in Calabar the state capital, during the #ENDSARS protest.
Speaking on the programme, “Dialogue with Agba Jalingo”, monitored in Calabar on Sunday evening, a lawyer, Effa Otu Oka, stated that the present 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), in sections 305 to 308, “only recognises the powers of the president to declare a curfew in some parts, or the whole nation at large, due to threats to life, or security, or health emergencies, and that by law, a governor can not declare a curfew on his own.”
“Curfew is more like an off-shot of a declaration of the state of emergency. The Law in Nigeria, as of today, by the provisions of the constitution particularly sections 305 to 308, of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), only recognises powers of the president to declare a state of emergency in some parts of Nigeria or the entire country, where there is a breakdown of law and order, or where there is a threat or where there is a medical issue that requires such emergency.
“The declaration of the state of emergency activates Marshal Law; a situation where rights of individuals or citizens are suppressed without a right of redress in the court of law. My position is that there is no law in Nigeria as of today that recognises the powers of the governor to declare a curfew,” he said.
The lawyer further explained that the curfew had affected businesses in Calabar negatively.
“My law firm in Calabar hardly operates. One of the days I had a case outside Calabar, I arrived a bit late and was stopped outside Calabar and was not allowed to come into Calabar. Because of the Curfew, and I had a matter in court the next morning before the Federal High Court. I slept outside Calabar and could not access my files, only to get to Court late and my matter was adjourned to another date.
“Talking about other businesses, Calabar is a city that never sleeps, personal businesses like nightclubs. Personal businesses, where people work over the night, but the curfew has stifled businesses, it has destroyed businesses, it has stopped people from earning and making a living.
“Imagine the billions that businesses have lost the past one year in Cross River State, imagine the millions the government would have earned from taxes through these businesses and you keep a curfew indefinitely? In fact, the constitution says even a state of emergency declared by the president, shall not stay beyond six months, in fact, it is the national assembly that must ratify a state of emergency declared by the president,” he declared.
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