The suit challenging the constitutionality provision of the criminal law that criminalizes people, press and media to freedom of expression, filed by Media Right Agenda, against the Attorney General Rivers State, Commissioner of Police Rivers State, before Justice Elsie Thompson of Port Harcourt High Court, has been fixed for hearing on 8 December, 2021.
The Applicants are seeking a declaration that the provisions of section 373 and 375 of the criminal code Law, Laws of Rivers State Nigeria is in violation of section 39 of the 1999 constitution as amended and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and people’s Right.
A declaration that the Defendants action in giving effect to the provisions of section 373 and 375 of the criminal code Law, Laws of Rivers State Nigeria to arrest, detain, harass, imprison or penalize the Applicant members, associates and indeed several other Nigerians is a violation of their rights.
The Applicants further seek a court order directing the Respondents to repeal or amend section 373 and 375 of the criminal code Law, Laws of Rivers State in provision of section 39 of the 1999 constitution and it’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and people’s Right.
Speaking with our correspondent, Kingdom Chukwuezi, Counsel representing the Applicants Media Right Agenda, said that the particular defamation law has hindered the development of democracy.