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Members of the Imo State House of Assembly have said that the controversial section 484 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Law which has granted the Governor the power to detain anybody at his pleasure never passed through the state Assembly.
This is even as the main sponsor of the bill Hon. Frank Ugboma (PDP) who represents the Oguta State constituency revealed that the bill which was passed by the state Assembly and later assented to by Governor Hope Uzodimma in March 2020 has a total section of 372.
The people of the state have slammed the lawmakers at the weekend when section 484 of ACJL which has alleged granted the governor the powers under the ACJL to detain any person at his pleasure without court order went viral on the social media.
But the immediate past Deputy Speaker and member representing Mbaitoli state constituency, Hon. Okey Onyekanma insisted that obnoxious section 484 of ACJL 2020 never passed through state Assembly.
In a press statement signed personally by him, he said he was not privy to the clandestine insertion of some, obnoxious vexatious, and anti-democratic clauses to the Administration of Criminal Justice Law Amendment bill 2020 which purportedly passed by the Imo state House of Assembly and signed into law by Governor Hope Uzodimma.
The state which read in part stated: “My position is clear. The strange Section 484 which allows suspects to be detained at the pleasure of the governor is unjust and unfair. It also provides that a person must obtain a license before he or she is released. These stipulations were not in any shape or form part of the draft bill which was enacted by the Imo State House of Assembly, where I am an active and punctual member. The bill stated on ‘Order’ in place other than “Prison or Mental Asylum and not at the pleasure of the Governor.
The injection of the toxic clauses into the ACJL is the height of absurdity. It intends to create a climate of terror in the state and make Imo a desert of totalitarianism in an oasis of democracy.
The obnoxious clauses have rendered the so-called law unacceptable. It cannot stand.
Adding, ‘I appeal to everybody to remain calm. As your representative, I have started liaising with other lawmakers who feel equally scandalized by this possible case of forgery to earnestly begin the process of repealing the rogue section which conflicts with democratic ethos.’
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