*IS THERE A QUARANTINE ACT MADE IN 2004, AFTER THAT OF 1926 IN NIGERIA?* Daily Law Tips (Tip 562) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

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This work is born out of a growing confusion in the public with regards to the existence of a certain Quarantine Act made in 2004 aside the Quarantine Act made in 1926.

There is only one Quarantine Act in Nigeria and it was made since 27 May 1926. Many years after, at different times, same has been codified and put into chapters of Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN). LFN is the revised edition of Acts of the National Assembly of Nigeria. Like in 1990, the Quarantine Act was tagged CAP 384 and later in 2004 LFN, it became CAP Q2. There is a difference between enactment date (year a law was made) and codification date (year a law was inserted into a chapter of a revised edition of collection of Acts of Nigeria). Reference to laws, law, legislation and Acts in this work, refers to and means federal legislation of the National Assembly of Nigeria.

In citation of laws in Nigeria, one can look at the Citation Section in the legislation sought to be cited. Every law has a citation/short title clause which directs how the legislation should be cited. Like in the Quarantine Act, section 1, provides that the legislation may be cited as the Quarantine Act.

One may also head to the Interpretation Act, for further guidance on how to cite legislations. By section 21 of the Interpretation Act, an Act that has been codified (put in the revised edition of LFN) is to be cited by its chapter number. For example the Quarantine Act having been codified will be cited as the Quarantine Act, (CAP Q2, LFN 2004). Then, Acts that have not been put into the LFN, are to be cited by their years of enactment, their numbers among other Acts passed same year. For example, assuming the Quarantine Act is not yet codified, it will be cited as the Quarantine 1926, (Act No. 18 of 1926). Other examples are Immigration Act, 2015 (Act No. 8 of 2015) and the Finance Act, 2020. (Act No. 1 of 2020).

In advanced legal research and writing, a researcher may wish to use specialized referencing styles, often approved and adopted by law schools, departments and journals across the world. Some of the common law referencing styles are, OSCOLA, NZ LAW, AGLC4, HARVARD STYLE and the NALT UNIFORM STYLE.

At SABI LAW FOUNDATION, our researches and publications on www.LearnNigerianLaws.com are prepared with OSCOLA referencing style, (especially, citations of legislations). OSCOLA is Oxford Standard for the Citation Of Legal Authorities. It is law referencing style created by Oxford University. The 4th edition of OSCOLA (the latest edition of OSCOLA) allows for legislations to be cited simply by stating their titles and dates of enactment. For example, the Quarantine Act 1926, the Immigration Act 2015 and the Finance Act 2020.

Hence, all references in Nigeria to Quarantine Act, Quarantine Act 1926, Quarantine Act (LFN Cap Q2, 2004), Quarantine Act (LFN Cap 384) or Quarantine Act 2004 refer to one and same old Quarantine Act that was made in May 1926 with just 8 sections. Presently, the National Assembly is in a rush to amend the Act and it is often cited at the National Assembly as Quarantine Act 2004 (this wrong citation makes non-lawyers feel there is a separate Quarantine Act made in 2004 without knowing it is rather a shabby reference to the Quarantine Act that was made in 1926).

My authorities are:

1. Section 1 of the Quarantine Act 1926.

2. Section 21 of the Interpretation Act










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