Omtatah wants Gov’t to refund money to those in mandatory quarantine

Activist Okiya Omtata. Photo/COURTESY

Activist Okiya Omtatah has moved to court to challenge the Covid-19 regulations.

He wants the court to order the Government to refund in full the money each and every person who it quarantined and forced to pay for their upkeep.

“In addition, some individuals in such quarantine have had their period of compulsory quarantine un-procedurally and unfairly extended, contrary to the provisions of the Fair Administrative Action Act, 2015 ,” the petition reads.

He claims that CS for Health issued Legal Notice No. 46 of 3rd April, 2020 and Legal Notice Nos. 50, 51, 52, and 53 of 6th April 2020 were done without both public participation and parliamentary approval, being in violation of the constitution.

Omtatah says that he is aggrieved that the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health forced persons required to go into compulsory quarantine for public health protection to pay for their upkeep.

It is his argument that the law requires the State to foot their bills.

He further argues that the decision by the CS to quarantine people without a magistrate‘s warrant and at their own cost violate Section 27 of the PHA, and with it the constitutional imperative of the rule of law under Articles 10 and 47(1) of the Constitution.

He argues that the health CS exceeded his powers to make regulations under Section 36 of the PHA by purporting to create criminal offenses and penalties which is the preserve of Parliament.

The petitioner is also aggrieved that none of the regulations issued or purportedly issued under Section 36, PHA, define what COVID-19 is, despite the disease caused by coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), being new and previously unknown, both in law and as a health concern.