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Anti-Mob Bill: The Objective Of My Bill Is To Stop Killing Of Innocent People Through Mob Action – Hon Chinedu Explains

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Hon. Emeka Martins Chinedu, the sponsor of the controversial seeking to criminalise mob action, says that the intent of the bill has been deliberately misconstrued to mean seeking to jail protesters.

Chinedu, who represents Ahiazu-Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency of Imo State in the House of Representatives, sought to clarify the bill’s intention on Sunday.

The bill seeks “An Act to amend the Criminal Code Act, CAP 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to further preserve the sanctity of human life and property, and to provide specifically for mob action, prescribe punishment and other matters”

According to him, the anger displayed by civil society groups towards the bill was unjustified.

Chinelo said that if passed, the bill would prevent a recurrence of unfortunate incidents like the Aluu 4 killings.

“I moved a bill on July 6, 2021, seeking to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The objective of my Bill is to stop killing of innocent people through mob action. But I was shocked that my Bill was misrepresented saying that it was meant to jail protesters for a period of five years.

“In the first place, I am a democrat and I can never be a party to such a Bill which intent is to criminalise protest, not to talk of moving the Bill.

“Protest is one of the tools which is used by an individual or a group of people to drive home a legitimate point of view and to fight against injustice. Protest is legitimate. It is legal. It is constitutional. It is a fundamental human right and there is absolutely nothing criminal about it. Every citizen has the right to protest,” Chinelo told Vanguard.

On the justification for the bill, Chinelo said, “The objective of my Bill is to stop the killing of innocent people through mob action. A lot of people have died through mob action. For instance, you remember the notorious case of the Aluu Four in 2012 involving four male students of the University of Port Harcourt who went to recover a debt but were set up and accused of theft leading to their gruesome murder by a mob in Aluu, Rivers State?

“More recently in 2016, a man accused of homosexuality was beaten to death in Ondo State. Another man was  lynched in Ebonyi State over accusations of theft of motorcycle.

“All these cases were cited in the Bill. Are these instances of protests? My Bill was intended to mitigate those actions in the future. I cannot be involved with any Bill aimed at jailing protesters.”

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