·        Wants poorly conceptualized, articulated bill be replaced

Prof Philip Njemanze, President Association of Catholic Medical Doctors of Nigeria (Imo state chapter and Coordinator, Pro-life Movement has berated members of the Imo state House of Assembly for passing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAAP) Bill No 12, of 2020 into law, thereby making Imo the 27th state in the country to pass the obnoxious and controversial bill into law without allaying the fears of the people by defining the status of an unborn child, among other allegedly deliberate omissions.

Njemanze posited that, “the recent version of the bill which was sponsored by Hon Uju Onwudiwe, who represents Njaba state constituency is a poorly written, conceptualized law which is aimed at destroying the family, erode our cherished Igbo traditional values and christian religious foundation by legalizing abortion, same sex marriage, outlaw the use of the bible in schools, approve the ordination of women as priests and coronation as traditional rulers in Imo communities, in addition to promoting sales of human parts got from aborted babies among other atrocious acts.”

He expressed dismay that the bill which elicited enormous controversy and public outcry did not ban the proliferation of baby factories “in the state, neither did it specify if the unborn child in the womb is a male or female that qualifies for protection as a person as purported in the Bill.6 As it is, if the unborn child is killed in the womb, it would suggest that no person was killed because it is not yet either a male or female.”

The bill, according to him, “will make more sense as regards the claim of the sponsors if it is focused on protecting all persons right from the moment of conception to natural birth.”

He further averred that all issues addressed on rape in the bill are unnecessary as they are all provided for in the current criminal and penal code in Nigeria, stressing that the VAAP law was clandestinely designed to augment the Imo state Law No 7 for the destruction of the family and killing of the unborn child in Imo state.

Njemanze, also stated that, “the Bill Section 16(1) should read ‘Any person who commits any form of abortion or use of infanticides, sale of human ovarian eqqs or sperms, abandons the newborn or subject human embryos to inhumane conditions including cold freezing for the purpose of sale, abandons wife/husband, children, aged parents or other dependents without any means of sustenance commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to fine not exceeding N500,000 or to both fine and imprisonment.”

The bill must be revised to state that: “Trafficking” means the supply recruitment, procurement, capture, removal, transportation, transfer, habouring, sale, disposal or receiving of any person from the moment of conception to natural death, within or across the borders off the Federal Republic of Nigeria for use in sexual acts, including for assisted reproductive techniques and cloning, sexual exploitation pornography of any person, use for rituals, or human organ sales of any body part.”