A twist to what obviously is a disturbing development that has left Imo people pondering if the Imo State House of Assembly as presently constituted is for or against Imo people surfaced early today when the Minority leader of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon Barr Nwosu Anyadike through a press release accused the leadership of Imo State House of Assembly of rediculing the legislature by allowing yet unknown person(s) to doctor the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law which the initiator and sponsor careful thought out.
He described the said law as obnoxious and anti-people and insisted that the leadership of Imo State House of Assembly should be held responsible for whatever transpired with the bill.
He advised the leadership not to bring the Executive into the discuss as it is purely a legislative affair.Anyadike’s statement is in reaction to an earlier release issued by the deputy speaker wherein he said that those condemning the bill are after the executive.
In a release which copy was made available to NIGERIAN WATCHDOG in Owerri, Anyadike who spoke onbehalf of the Imo PDP lawmakers expressed dismay over the said law.He acknowledged that even though the bill was sponsored by a PDP legislator who is also a seasoned lawyer, Barr Frank Ugboma, the contentious section is not part of the original bill.
The Minority leader said that the bill sponsored by the Oguta lawmaker is adjudged people oriented, designed to decongest the prison facility in Imo and facilitate criminal trials.
Anyadike wondered who altered the bill and for what purpose aside dealing with perceived opposition leaders and dissenting voices
According to him, every member has copy of the original bill which never empowered the governor or anybody to arrest, detain anyone and such person to be released at his convenience.
He further reminded the Executive and his colleagues that Section 4 of the Nigeria Constitution Vested the legislative powers on House of Assembly of Imo State.”Hence, a bill undergoes a rigorous process in the Assemblh before it is signed into law by the governor”.
The release reads in part,”We have been soberly reflecting on certain provisions of the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law(ISACJL), particularly as it concerns (Chapter 38)(S) (484) and 485(1),(2)(3) (detention during the governors pleasure’)See Imo State of Nigeria official gazette, Owerri 26th March,2020.Vol 44.
“The Administration of Criminal Justice Law(ACJL) was a private bill sponsored by the Honourable Member representing Oguta State Constituency (Hon Frank Ugboma) which was introduced during former Governor Ihedioha tenure with the best of intentions.The processing lingered until it’s eventual passage into law at first quarter of this year,2020 under Senator Hope Uzodimma,the Governor.
However,what beggers belief is how a particularly obnoxious and offensive section,(Chapter 13) ( Section 484) and (section 485 )was contemptuously smuggled into this law; a development which has ruffled feathers and created an atmosphere of discontent in the state.
This section is not only repugnant to natural justice,equity and good conscience but portrays this law as draconian and anti-people .
From the original bill shared to our colleagues at the plenary,the above contentious section was not contained in the original bill (See Hon Barr Frank Ugboma’s disclaimer to the above-mentioned section,as the Chief Sponsor of the bill).We the minority and other colleagues disassociate ourselves from the contentious section of this AJCL law and equally call for its review or total expunging from the AJCL law, for it runs against the grains of the democracy which Imolites welcomed with joy.
When the bill was introduced which had gone through first second and third reading,we didn’t notice any contentious sections as mentioned above.The original bill that went through those reading is available for anybody’s perusal. If it was introduced during the Legislative process,it would have been thrown out.
It now behoves on the members of the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (,ACJL) Review committee to explain to Imolites at what point,time and what stage this notorious section was introduced into the bill,since it didn’t go through the process of first reading to third reading,and public hearing.(See the list of Committee members).
Having seen the press release from the office of the Deputy speaker,during which he attempted to dragged Executive into this infamous gibbet,I make bold to say that the House Leadership and the Clerical staff (IMHA)owe us an explanation on how they landed us into this mess.
We therefore distance ourselves from this contentious section,as it was not contained in the original bill sponsored and eventually passed into law by (IMHA)”.