Controversy trails Imo law granting governor power to detain at will

Posted by News Express | 18 September 2020 | 590 times

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•Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma

 

By JUDE AGUGUO OWUAMANAM, Owerri

Imo Administration of Criminal Justice Law, empowering the state governor, Hope Uzodimma to detain persons at will.

He sponsored the bill under the tenure of former governor Emeka Ihedioha, and says the controversial sections were not part of the bill now signed into law.

Ugboma, the deputy minority leader of Imo state legislature, said they were smuggled into the law the state assembly presented for the governor’s assent.

Opposition People’s Democratic Party called the new law “autocratic and dictatorial”.

In a statement in Owerri, Ugboma said, “As the chief sponsor of the Bill, I have had cause to search through all the documents that cumulated into the Bill. I must say that I have done this repeatedly and have equally taken further pains in reaching out to my colleagues in the House. I must admit that they have each expressed shock over the sudden obnoxious sections of the Law more particularly Section 484 of the said ACJL of Imo State.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Bill I presented had about a total of 372 Sections. How and where it was amended, recreated and reshaped into Section 484 and beyond remains a mystery and a legislative wonder of our time as what I presented and circulated to my colleagues during plenary, both in the First and Second readings did not contain such obnoxious and embarrassing Section 484. Neither was it deliberated in the House Committee of the whole. It indeed never existed in the House.

“No one has been able to explain to the members of the 9th House how and at what stage the said Section 484 was inserted into the Bill. It smacks of an evil manipulation to throw Imo people into the dungeon.

“As a lawyer, I have had cause to fight against such obnoxious laws and as an activist there is no way this section would have scaled through plenary in the 9th House which I am part of. All of us are already available victims of this obnoxious sections. Not even those who practiced this calculated affront on the Constitution are exempted

However, a member of the of Public Complaints Commission, Willie Amadi, has disagreed, saying that there was nothing obnoxious about the new law.

He said that rather than describing the law as a tool of intimidation, suppression and or a violation of our fundamental human rights, it is a provision specifically and deliberately designed to protect offenders below the age of criminal responsibility and persons of unsound mind. (Daily Trust)


Source: News Express

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