The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed January 16, 2024, to hear an application seeking the nullification of several sections of the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (2020).
The sections are said to empower Governor Hope Uzodimma to direct the detention of suspects.
The case was instituted by Honorable Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere Onyinye of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the governor, the Attorney-General of Imo State and the Commissioner of Justice (1st and Second Respondents).
The law in dispute was said to be enacted by the Imo state House of Assembly in 2020 and was assented to by the governor the same year.
As deposed before the court in his documents, Section 485 of the state’s law partly provides that “a person detained during the governor’s pleasure may be anytime be discharged by the governor on license.”
Ugochinyere contended before Justice Inyang Ekwo that the law is inconsistent with the provisions of Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates that every Nigerian shall be entitled to his liberty and none shall be deprived of such liberty except in some cases (which does not include the governor’s pleasure) and in accordance with a procedure permitted by law.
“That I reasonably believe that the above provisions are unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect and should be struck down from the said Imo state Administration of Criminal Justice Law No.2 of 2020,” Ugochinyere contended.
He added that granting his application would be in the interest of justice and preservation of the rights of the applicant and the people of Imo state.
He therefore urged the court to declare that section of the Imo state law as “null and void.”
The application was mentioned before Justice Ekwo on Wednesday and it was subsequently adjourned.
MaaziTV reports Ugochinyere has been at loggerheads with Uzodimma over the leadership of the state, in recent months.