Mbaise, July 10, 2021: Honorable Emeka Chinedu Martins (PDP-Imo), representing Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency, in the Nigerian National Assembly recently disclosed to Professor Eddie Oparaoji, Chairman Mbaise Policy Roundtable (MPR) his decision to withdraw a well-intended bill to guard against jungle justice, which he sponsored at the National Assembly but was misconstrued. Rep. Martins said, I have “decided to withdraw the bill…I intend to withdraw it by next week Tuesday on the floor of the house..”
Hon. Chinedu Martins believes that the wrong narrative about the bill may have been shaped by the misleading title of “Reps bill threatens five-year jail term for ‘unlawful protesters’” by the vanguard news paper of July 6,2021. This title may have provided handle for political opponents to cause mischief and distracted from the true essence of the bill.
According to the honorable member the Bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code Act Cap 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to provide specifically for the crime of mob action, prescribe punishment and for other related matters. He also further explained in a press release that, “the Criminal Code Amendment Bill, 2021, did not talk about criminalizing protest or Protesters in Nigeria, rather, it is a Bill that proactively seeks to preserve life and protect the killing of the innocent through mob action, known as “jungle justice” in our local parlance
Commenting on the decision to withdraw the Bill Professor Oparaoji said, “It is not complicated, he is an accessible peoples representative, he listens to his people and makes his decisions based on Mbaise best interests, desires and aspirations. That is why we love him, and all he does for our community”. During our communication I had shared with him that “I think the benefit of the bill is overwhelmed by the risks of unintended consequences. Jungle justice, while not acceptable, is a symptom of our failed law an order and discredited system of justice.”
MPR is the premier pre-eminent Mbaise Public Policy and Business Advisory Council in the World, focused entirely on the development of Mbaise and Imo State, through the facilitation of financial and in-kind resources, private investments and private public partnerships.