Illegal LGBTQ party: Former Commissioner for Justice frowns at C’River Speaker

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Former Commissioner for Justice in Cross River, Attah Ochinke, has frowned at the Speaker of the 10th Cross River State House of Assembly, CRSHA over the latter’s official reaction on LGBTQ2IC alledged party which held in Calabar on Tuesday.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly had sent a strong warning to operators of hospitality in the state to desist from hosting the LGBTQ2iC community or face prosecution.

He went as far as contacting security agencies to intervene in the situation. This was contained in a press release signed by the chief press secretary to the speaker, Matthew Okache.

However, the former Commissioner for Justice observed that the intention of the press release is clear. He noted that the disgust of Speaker Ayambem is palpable. But Ochinke further noted, ‘even if this statement is right, was it rightly done?’

In response, Ochinke Esq said thus, ‘If the Speaker wanted to make a point on this matter, he should have tabled it as a motion or a matter of urgent public interest for debate on the floor of the House. Arising from the deliberations, the views expressed here by Mr Speaker can come as resolutions of the House.’

Disagreeing with Ayambem, Ochinke said, ‘Mr Speaker, from his desk, outside the floor of the house, cannot issue such orders to agencies of the executive arm of government. That breaches the principle of separation of powers enshrined in our constitution. These orders, are executive orders which only the governor, or persons authorised by him, can issue.

‘It is a young administration yet, and small missteps like this are expected. But we must point out these missteps so they do not manifest in a bigger area and create misunderstandings.

‘The governor may, from his desk, issue any executive order within the bounds of law. That’s why he is executive. But the Speaker may not do so. Otherwise both the Speaker and governor may issue different and contradictory orders.

‘In any case these agencies are under the control of the governor, so they are bound to obey his orders. The issue here is procedural and constitutional. And these boundaries need to be respected for stability.’

Reportedly, on the 30th of June 2023, a certain hotel in Ekorinim in Calabar Municipality, hosted a LGBTQ2iC party in their premises, where adolescents were also in attendance.

The LGBTQ2iC practice is a crime in Nigeria. On the 7th of January 2014, signed the ‘Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill’ into law. The act imposes a 14-year prison sentence on anyone who ‘(enters) into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union,’ and a 10-year sentence on individuals or groups, including religious leaders, who ‘witness, abet, and aid the solemnization of a same-sex marriage or union.

The act also imposes a 10-year prison sentence on those who ‘directly or indirectly make public show of same-sex amorous relationships and anyone who registers, operates, or participates in gay clubs, societies, and organizations, including supporters of those groups.’

 

EDITORIAL

This story amongst others are reviewed on Sparkling 92.3FM and FAD 93.1FM. Again, opinions expressed on NegroidHaven are exclusively the author’s not NH’s.