The leader of Committee for World Peace, and Global Prolife Alliance, Dr Phillip Njemanze has opposed some sections of the VAPP bill recently passed into law by the Imo State House of Assembly.
Imo is the 27th State in the federation the controversial VAPP law is taking effect
Njemanze, a consistent and fiery critic of the law because of its demerits, in a letter to the National Assembly, raised concerns on the law and sought for amendments. He described the law ” as a poorly written and conceptualized law which has an agenda to destroy the family and erode our Igbo traditions and Christian Religious foundation”
His full letter reads below:
DETAILS OF AMENDMENTS REQUIRED BASED ON EXAMPLE OF IMO STATE VAPP LAW 2020. AMENDMENTS APPLY TO THE NATIONAL AND ALL STATE VAPP LAWS.
1.0. Imo State of Nigeria Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill No. 12 of 2012 Revised for 2020
The Imo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill No. 12, 2020 version was sponsored by Hon. Uju Onwudiwe aka Igolo Njaba. The VAPP Bill is a poorly written and conceptualized law which has an agenda to destroy the family and erode our Igbo traditions and Christian Religious foundation. Imo Bill No. 12, 2020 legalizes Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage, Outlaws the Use of the Bible in Schools, Outlaws all-men Catholic Seminaries, Ordains women as priests, Crowns women as traditional Ezes in Imo Communities, promotes the Sale of Human parts from aborted babies, mandates sex education in schools, imprisons parents and preachers for moral education of children. The BILL is better not promulgated in its present form and should remain repealed. However, on request of His Grace Most Rev. AJV Obinna, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Diocese, and Owerri Provincial Head, the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) will point out a few of the objections in this new version of the VAPP Bill. We underscore that all the issues addressed on rape are all provided for in the current criminal and penal code in Nigeria. This current law was designed to augment the Imo State Law No. 7 for the destruction of the family and killing of the unborn Imo Child.
The VAPP Bill No. 12 is not well intended, since it does not ban the proliferation of ‘Imo Baby Factories’, where babies are being killed and their organs taken for EXPORT to Western Countries to provide organs for their infants with heart defects, kidney defects, liver and lung insufficiency. The Imo State Law No. 12 is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Among the aims for the international sponsorship of the law are to provide aborted tissues and fetal parts for the Western Pharmaceutical Companies for drug testing and cosmetics industry. It also provides human Ovarian Eggs through Invitro-Feritilization (IVF) Clinics to supply over 100 million eggs needed for the Tissue Cloning Industry. It is remarkable that majority of the Stem Cell Tissue Cloning Industry are owned by the same Western billionaire who sponsors these laws. This will mark the beginning of Biological Colonialism using innocent babies from Imo State. There is also a growing threat of use of ‘infanticides’ to kill ‘girl’ child in families in Sex Selection. The promulgation of the Imo Law No. 12 will ONLY be of value if it is focused on protecting all persons from the moment of conception to natural death.
*Technical Note: Read the law from the back sections Part 9 INTERPRETATION.
1.1. Definition of a Person is Wrong
First, this is a Bill purported to be a Law for Prohibition of Violence Against Persons, however, there is no section on Definition of a Person! Rather, it just states: a person is a male or female. The question arises, is the unborn child in the womb of the mother a male or female? If the unborn child is killed in abortion, it would suggest that no person was killed since at that time it could not be said to be a male or female. The VAPP Bill 2020 version crosses another evil milestone by declaring that the unborn child in the womb of the mother is not a person. The Denial of Personhood to the Unborn Imo Child is the first of such ‘Evil Declarations’ ever to be made by a State actor anywhere in the world.
We will provide a detailed medical definition of a ‘person’ who is the main object of this law and must be clearly defined. The poor conceptualization in VAPP Bill No. 12, 2020 version is evident, for example, the main subject of the law the ‘Person’ is not defined in biological or social terms. If a person is characterized by ‘Life’, a Bill seeking protection against Violence must first declare the ‘Sanctity of Human Life.’ Abortion is the most serious and evil violence against a person! The Bill does not protect ‘Life’ from its very beginning at ‘Conception’ to its end at ‘Natural Death’. This Bill is inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, is hereby repealed, rendered null and void and of no effect.
This Bill No. 12, 2020 should specifically state that The Imo State Law No. 7 2007 in [Section 18 (a-f)] which legalizes Abortion, Contraception, Assisted Reproduction and Human Ovarian Egg-donation’, is hereby rendered null and void and of no effect.
1.2. Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage
“Domestic relationship” means a relationship between any person and a perpetrator of violence constituted in any of the following ways
(i) They were married to each other, including marriage according to any law, custom or religion;
Marriage under any law was intended to include Same-Sex Marriage held under California Law in the United States. The Same-Sex marriage laws would be legal in Imo State regardless of the prohibition in Nigeria. It is a direct legalization of Same-Sex Marriage, since online marriages could conducted under any law.
1.3. What is Marriage?
“Marriage (Igbo language: i me oriri ọgọ, meaning ‘to perform a feast for the inlaws’) is a union of a man and a woman established between themselves by their own free will as a partnership for the whole of life according to an order established by law, faith or custom, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring”.
The present law recognizes ‘civil unions as marriage:
(ii) They live or have lived together in a relationship in the nature of marriage, although they are not or were not married to each other;
1.4. Female Kings in Igbo Communities
The “economic abuse” includes ‘succession rights’. This would mean that, if the first girl in the family of an Eze is jumped in the line of succession according to Igbo customs and tradition, the Eze or the village King-makers would go to jail for three years (see Section 14 (1)). The aim is to crown women Kings or Ezes in Igbo land which would result in rejection by our people and a total breakdown of our traditional governance and the identity of the people and their customs.
A revision must omit ‘succession rights’ as economic abuse, it should now read “economic abuse” means forced financial dependence; denial of inheritance rights in a manner that violates the Fundamental Rights of the Person as stipulated the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and generally accepted good social practices of Igbo traditional norms.
1.5. Destroys Igbo Traditional Institution of Marriage
The “harmful traditional practices” includes ‘succession rights’ the Male-only Ezeship in Igbo land is outlawed by the Imo VAPP No. 12, 2020. This would create unprecedented chaos and collapse of Imo society. Applying Section 14(1) would mean that a woman refused as ‘king’ to succeed the father is a ‘harmful traditional practice’ liable to three years imprisonment! So also are family traditions of inheritance designed to keep the female members in their new marital homes and not in their parent’s home. This is aimed at promoting divorce and family separation in Igbo society. The foreign sponsors of the Bill aim at destroying the family which is the foundation of Igbo society.
1.6. Ordination of Female Priest of the Catholic and Anglican Churches
The VAPP Bill No. 12, 2020 aims at destruction of the Christian religious traditions. A woman who seeks ordination as a Catholic Priest would be refused by the seminary citing the long held Church tradition of not ordaining women as Catholic Priests and Bishops because of the Male-Priesthood of Jesus Christ. The Judge would cite Imo Law No. 12, 2020, and rule for ordination of women. Any revisions must in all sections exempt ‘accepted good practices’ of Igbo customs and traditions as well as religious traditions of the Imo people.
1.7. Promotes Moral Decadence, Imprisons Preachers and Parents
“Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse’…
The definition of ‘abuse’ as ‘verbal’ was made broad to include normal parental scolding of children, preaching against ‘sins’ of adultery, abortion, fornication, etc., as is customary in our religious society. It includes preaching by Priests, Pastors, Evangelists, Bishops, Traditional heads that condemn actions contrary to our religion and culture. The latter curtails the “Freedom” of religion, and restricts the Church and traditional institutions from correcting the evils of society such as the sins of abortion, contraception, fornication, adultery, etc. Perpetrators if condemned by preachers on the pulpit could take offence even when not specifically directed at them but at the entire congregation. The VAPP Bill No. 12, 2020, allows anyone to claim ‘psychological’ distress in response to ‘verbal abuse’ that they consider violates ‘the integrity of a female or male human being’. There are no limitations or exemptions made by the VAPP Bill No. 12, 2020, on what could be considered as ‘abuse’ therefore all cultural manners of correction of children and young people would be considered as ‘abuse’ liable to fine and/or imprisonment. Daughters would go against mothers and sons against fathers in courts, with parents facing jail sentences as prescribed by VAPP Bill No. 12, 2020. This would create a breakdown of ethics and morals, customs, traditional practices, and religious norms that holds the fabric of Imo society. Children growing up in Imo State society that is compliant to VAPP Bill No. 12, 2020 would have no cultural, religious, ethical and moral restrictions and no traditional upbringing for which the Igbo are known as a people. The impending chaos would lead ultimately to the disintegration of our entire socio-political system. The local sponsors by proposing this Bill aimed at socio-political disintegration have broken their Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office and hence, have committed a treasonable felony in breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The punichsment for this breach includes re-call from office. Total disintegration of Igbo Society is the goal of the racist foreign sponsors of the VAPP Bill No. 12, under a deceptive title: Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill.
1.8. Bans the Holy Bible and Holy Koran from Use in Public
Preachers claiming to be speaking from the teachings in the Holy Bible (Igbo language: ibo ibe Eli, meaning ‘mediators and witnesses of the Most High God’) or Holy Koran (Igbo language: akara Enu, meaning ‘narrations from Heaven’; Quran: Okwu Orie Enu, meaning ‘the words of Almighty God from Heaven’), could have the court to rule that, pronouncing the teachings from the Holy Bible and Holy Koran provoked ‘emotional and psychological abuse’, hence, the Holy Bible and Holy Koran are banned from use in public. Section 14(1) must be revised to read: “Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse” means a pattern of degrading or humiliating conduct towards any person, including repeated insults, ridicule or name calling; repeated threats to cause emotional pain; or the repeated exhibition of obsessive possessiveness, which is of such nature as to constitute a serious invasion of such person’s privacy, liberty, integrity or security, but does not include normal admonishment of children or persons to correct wrongdoings in private or public, in accordance with Igbo customs, religious norms or accepted good social practices.
1.9. The Act Must Ban Violence Against the Unborn Child
Section 16(1) should read ‘Any person who commits any form of abortion or use of infanticides, sale of human ovarian eggs or sperms, abandons the newborn or subject human embryos to inhumane conditions including cold freezing for the purpose of sale, abandons wife/husband, children, aged parents or other dependents without any means of sustenance commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to fine not exceeding N500,000 or to both fine and imprisonment.’
1.10. The Bill Must Ban All forms of Sexual Blackmail and Trafficking of the Unborn Child
The Bill must be revised to state that: “Trafficking” means the supply, recruitment, procurement, capture, removal, transportation, transfer, habouring, sale, disposal or receiving of any person from the moment of conception to natural death, within or across the borders of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for use in sexual acts, including for assisted reproductive techniques and cloning, sexual exploitation, pornography of any person, use for rituals, or human organ sales of any body part.
1.11. Part 4: Regulatory Body as a Duplication of Functions of the Ministry of Women Affairs
The Imo State Agency on Violence Against Persons was created as a policing agency with no operational mandate to provide direct medical, psychological, shelter assistance to the victims. There is no personal grant-in-aid provided in the Act to support victims rehabilitation programs at local government levels and through charities of faith-based organizations and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Act is silent on how to fund the so-called Service Providers and for what services. The lack of specifics in the Act is deceptive and seeks to provide tax-payer funds for abortificiants distributed by Planned Parenthood, Marie Stobes and other international groups promoting abortion. There are no government shelters for victims of Human Trafficking, no means of government funding of maternities to provide for the ‘unborn child’ and their mothers. The proposed function of the agency is ‘only to coordinate’ between the so-called Service Provider and the Police. The functions herein defined are not a workable and practical role for this agency to serve Imo People. This agency is not necessary but rather usurps functions of the Ministry of Women Affairs. There is no need for another agency that will continue to increase the size of Imo Government with no real value added to the functions already under the Ministry of Women Affairs.
1.12. Imo State Ministry of Women Affairs Serves Matters Related to Violence Against Persons Prohibition
The Ministry of Women Affairs with an enabling budget could provide the needed means to serve the victims of violence in Imo State.
(i) Infrastructure to house victims in a safe-house to supplement the activities of state and faith-based Service Providers.
(ii) The ministry must have at least 25% of the victims’ funds dedicated to providing maternity services for would-be mothers who were abandoned by their husbands and now have to carry the burden of child birth alone.
(iii) The agency should aim to have at least one ‘safe-house’ in every local government in Imo State. This would be provided for victims of violence, including teenage pregnant mothers running away from their homes.
(iv) The ministry should have one designated maternity in each LGA for the mothers and their unborn children.
(v) The ministry would have at least one motherless babies home in each senatorial zone in Imo State, of which each serving senator would adopt as the patron of the center, to help source additional funding for continuing support. This will provide a safe place to house babies who could have been victims of the ‘Imo Baby Factories’.
(vi) The ministry should run a skills acquisition center in each LGA in Imo State.
(vii) The ministry should have a toll-free call for help center 24 hours.
(viii) The ministry should have psychologists and social workers who run a victim’s rehabilitation center.
(ix) The ministry should have a quick first-responder crew for victims of domestic violence.
(x) The funding of the ministry will come from state budget and a Trust Fund which comprises at least 1% VAT funds in Imo State, and 5% of the total counterpart funding paid on mother and child issues. The government and legislature will rationalize the cost of governance from their activities and the savings of at least 10% would become the operational fund of the ministry including all other donations from the private and public sectors.
(xi) It would be prohibited to abort any pregnancy as a means to deal with the emotional and psychological health of the mother even in the case of rape, in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria