By CHIDI NKWOPARA & Bartholomew Madukwe
…As SANs back Okorocha on new law …
OWERRI—The palpable anger generated by the abortion law in Imo State is growing by the day as the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egbu, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Okorafor, has condemned the law, describing it as extremely evil.
The Anglican cleric, who made his view known while reacting to the controversial law, said the legislation, as far as the church was concerned, was a sin against God.
He opined that from the manner the law was coined by the lawmakers and signed by Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration was a clear indication that the government was promoting and legalizing prostitution.
“Imo State is entirely a Christian state. The governor and the legislature must guard against betraying the confidence the people reposed in them,” Bishop Okorafor warned.
Meanwhile, as the controversy surrounding the abortion law rages in Imo, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Dr. Anthony J. V. Obinna, said he had nothing personal against Governor Okorocha but said he would battle the governor against bad policies.
“It is not true that I am personally opposed to Governor Rochas Okorocha. The church is only bent on opposing bad policies,” Archbishop Obinna said.
He recalled that the church had always taken tough stance against past administrations, including military governments, each time they came out with anti-people policies and programmes.
“We stood against the military when they wanted to fuse the College of Agriculture, Umuagwo and Imo State University, Owerri,” Obinna explained.
SANs back Okorocha on new law
LAGOS—Following Governor Rochas Okorocha’s signing into law last week of Abortion Bill passed by the State House of Assembly, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, and Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, yesterday threw their weight behind Imo State Government’s decision, despite opposition from people of the state.
However, some lawyers kicked against the abortion law, saying it was against the Christian faith, especially as it would encourage trafficking of human embryos.
Sagay, a professor of law and human rights activist, held that the legalization of abortion in Imo State was for the best.
His words: “Right now, is there no abortion in Nigeria, even when there is no law that is providing some exceptions as Imo State law is trying to do? I think the legalization of abortion is for the best.
“The criticism shows either lack of thinking or lack of humanity. The law is very clear, you are only entitled to abortion when the person is raped and when the person is assaulted, when the person’s life is endangered if she is going to bear the child.”
A member of the Body of Benchers, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, noted that legalizing abortion was neither here nor there, since in recent time, nobody had been charged to court for procuring or abetting the procurement of abortion.
He said: “I cannot recall in recent time when any person has been charged to court for procuring or abetting the procurement of abortion. To that extent, the law has been moribund. So the repeal of that moribund law makes no difference.
“In other climes, the law against procurement of abortion has been amended to allow procurement when the life of the mother is threatened. So in effect, Imo State Government did no wrong in its repeal of the law.”