The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has condemned the recent passage of the Cybercrime Prohibition Law by the state government.
The group who faulted the state government in a statement issued on Wednesday by its President, Amb. Paschal Oluchukwu said that the passage of the law was done without a public hearing
According to the group, the government surreptitiously signed the Bill into law “without the traditional public debates especially at the legislative arm and involving the people’s inputs claims it genuinely wants to fight and stamp fake news spread through the use of Social media out of our dear State.”
It added its “reservations and downright condemnation” to the assent given the bill by the Governor, David Umahi.
The group queried if the State House of Assembly ever called for a “memoranda from members of the public to keep them informed, aware and participatory in the entire process of enacting the said anti-social media law?”
While accusing the state government of “targeting opposition elements particularly in the PDP as has been the case since the defection of the Governor to the ruling APC”; AESID insisted that “the law, which we believe is against the spirits and letters of Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Freedom of Information Act effectively operational in our nation should have no place at all in a young and developing State like Ebonyi which is earnestly yearning for a marketplace of ideas to grow and level up with its contemporaries and competing neighbours.”
AESID, therefore, demanded its withdrawal, even as it called for the immediate and unconditional release within 24 hours of Godfrey Chikwere, a Radio presenter allegedly arrested and detained by the government over a Facebook post.
Giving the state government a 24-hour ultimatum to release him and apologize for violating his rights, the pressure group added that the victim is now lying critically ill in the hospital following his arrest and detention by the Police over the last weekend.”