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Right to fair hearing in Nigeria under the imperatives of COVID-19 control

Inyo Evans Ibingo


When the Corona Virus Disease struck the world in December 2019 no one predicted the magnitude of damage it was bringing. Many medical practitioners concerned about the challenge nursed optimism that the virulence would not escalate beyond China. The pandemic spread throughout the world – scoring the recrudescence of a peculiar killer disease in medical history. Nations have applied diverse procedures to reduce its spread in their respective jurisdictions, thereby affecting the social structure, dispensation of citizens’ rights and other state obligations. Yet there should be respect for right to fair hearing, as evidence of the rule of law among civilized people. The objective of this study is to project the importance of this right in Nigeria. The data came from regulations implemented by four constituencies in Nigeria viz. Kaduna, Lagos and Rivers States, and the Federal Capital Territory, where the Governors wrongly applied the COVID-19 transmission prevention scheme to exhibit illegal use of force which infringed on the citizens’ right to fair hearing. Even in emergencies this right should be preserved because of its sacrosanctity, since the constitution did not create any exception to warrant its infraction.

Keywords: COVID-19, Fair Hearing, Transmission, Jurisdiction.