The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described the newly passed Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) as unconstitutional, illegal and a move by the Imo state Governor, Mr. Hope Uzodinma, to cripple organised opposition to bad governance.
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf, Thursday in Abuja, threatened to drag the Imo state government to court over illegal provisions of the law.
“Human rights practitioners of Imo state origin will head to court soon to invalidate these dictatorial powers conferred on the governor by the rubber stamped Imo state House of Assembly which has become Imo state House of absurdities,” HURIWA stated.
According to the group, “The new Imo ACJL by Section 484 provides that suspects must obtain License before any Release will be made.
“It reads: Where any person is ordered to be detained during the governor’s pleasure he shall notwithstanding anything in this Law or in any other written law contained be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the governor may direct and whilst so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.
“This is highly inflammable and toxic and this and many other irregular provisions must be struck down by the House of Assembly or we assure Nigerians that we observe that by Section 485 the ACJL states that a detainee may only be discharged if granted license by the governor just as Section 485 provides:(1) A person detained during the Governor’s pleasure may at any time be discharged by the governor on license. This dictator in Douglas House must be contained.”
The rights group further noted that the newly passed ACJL would discourage investors from going to Imo state since economic activities hardly thrive in a dictatorship, disclosed that
The group said it would, in the coming days, be holding consultative sessions with like-minded civil society stakeholders and civil society leaders to deliberate on what steps to be adopted to confront “this aggressive affront to constitutional democracy in Imo state.
“HURIWA is by this statement demands the immediate repeal of this draconian legislation which is targeted at whittling down the constitutional principles of separation of powers which are enshrined in Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”