Uzodimma’s law to detain citizens at will,illegal – Prof. Obiaraeri

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Prof. Obiaraeri. N. O has stated that gov Hope Uzodimma assent to a law that detains and arrest Imo citizens at will is Unconstitutional and Scandalous.

This was contained in a paper he presented on the said sections which he posted on his Facebook Wall.

TheNigeriaLawyer recalls that the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has assented to the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2020.

Meanwhile, opinions are divided as to the correct import of Sections 484 & 485 of the Law.

For clarity of purpose, the two provisions provide:

Section 484 :

“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”.

Section 485 provides:

(1) A person detained during the Governor’s pleasure may at any time be discharged by the Governor on license

(2) A license under subsection (1) of this section may be in such form and may contain such conditions as the Governor may direct.

(3) A license under this section may at anytime be revoked or varied by the Governor and where license has been revoked the person to whom the license relates shall proceed to such place as the Governor may direct and if he fails to do so, may be arrested without warrant and taken to such place.”

In a paper presentation dated 16th day of September, 2020 by Prof. Obiaraeri. N.O on the topic “novel provisions in THE Imo state administration of CRIMINAL justice law, 2020”, he contends that the provisions are illegal.

“No doubt these provisions of section 484 of ISACJL, 2020 are not only draconian but scandalous as they vest too much farcical and absolute powers on the Governor contrary to the express provisions of the International Bill of Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

“It is left to see how these kinds of monstrous provisions that do not deserve any pride of place in a democratic society and rule of law setting will survive the long standing decisions of the courts, especially the apex Supreme Court of Nigeria, that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the citizen guaranteed in Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution as amended are sacrosanct, inalienable, inderogable and imprescriptible.” He said.

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