Imo Assembly reverses gov’s power to arrest, detain at will
PDP lawmakers petition N’Assembly over alleged marginalisation
Following public outcry over the passage and subsequent assent to the bill on the controversial Imo Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2 of 2020, the 27-member House of Assembly has amended sections 484 and 485 of the bill, which empowered the governor to detain citizens at will.
The lawmakers, before proceeding on Christmas break last week, passed the amendment stripping the governor of the power to order the arrest and detention of citizens at his pleasure, leaving the courts to carry out such order.
Passed last March, the controversial bill was assented to by Governor Hope Uzodimma in August.
Soon after, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, who holds a Ph.D in Law, Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri, during a legal officers’ public forum, raised concerns on the consequences of the sections. Subsequently, citizens called for amendment of the bill, as they feared the governor could use it to deal with his opponents.
Deputy Majority Leader, Emeka Nduka (APC, Ehime Mbano), sponsored the amendment, prompting majority support for its amendment.
The amendment reads that such order to arrest and detain must emanate from the court, and the affected persons must be minors or people of unsound mind.
MEANWHILE, seven Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the assembly have petitioned the National Assembly to intervene in alleged pay cuts and marginalisation by the APC leadership in the house.
The Guardian learnt that the PDP lawmakers had been complaining of constant slash of their salaries and allowances because of their refusal to defect to the ruling party.
Titled ‘Discriminatory and Bigoted Practices in the Imo State House of Assembly, the petition was endorsed by the Minority Leader, Anyadike Nwosu; Deputy Minority Leader, Frank Ugboma; Minority Whip, Solomon Anukam; Deputy Minority Whip, Phillip Ejiogu; the immediate past Deputy Speaker, Okechukwu Onyekanma; Paschal Okolie and Tochi Okereke.