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BREAKING: Reps Bar Journalists From Covering Public Hearing On Infectious Diseases Bill

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday denied journalists access to the venue of the public hearing on the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill.

Media men covering activities of the House gathered to cover the hearing, organised by the joint Committee on Health Services, Health Institutions and Justice, but were denied access by the National Assembly’s Sergent-at-Arm officer stationed at the entrance of the Hearing Room 028, venue of the public hearing, insisting he was instructions not to allow journalists into the place.

According to him, it was only the chairman of the House Committee on Health Services, Tanko Sununu, that would clear journalists to cover the event.

Reports also have it that the Clerk of the Committee, Joyce Umeru was also fond of holding the Committee’s events in secrecy and has vowed not to have any business to do with journalists.

The controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, jointly sponsored by Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, chairman, House Committee on Health Institutions, Paschal Obi and Sununu has been trailed had remained a subject of diverse debate since its introduction and hurried passage at the second reading level, with initial plans to skip the public hearing stage.

It was later trailed with allegations that the content was a product of plagiarism of a similar law in Singapore.

The public hearing was forced on the House when Nigerians and interest groups mounted pressure that it be dropped, before the Speaker announced the decision to subject the same to public scrutiny.

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