Senate recommends 3-yrs jail term in new bill to regulate social media

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Senate recommends 3-yrs jail term in new bill to regulate social media

A bill designed to regulate social media in the country has been introduced in the Senate. Sponsored by the Senator representing Niger East, Mohammed Sani Musa, it is titled “Protection from internet falsehood and manipulations bill, 2019.”
The bill prescribes a fine of N150,000 or three years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of violating the law.
The senator who spoke with journalists said the bill to regulate social media would protect the unity of Nigeria which he described as “fragile”.
Said he: “There has never been a time when Nigeria has been very fragile in terms of its unity than this period.
“It is not to stop people from going into the internet to do whatever they feel legitimately is okay to do but what we felt is wrong is for you to use the medium to document information that you know is false, just because you want to achieve your desirable interest.”
He said further: “If it is a corporate organisation that refused to block that false information despite the fact that they have been alerted by authorities not to disseminate that information for public interest and they still go ahead and do it, refusing to do that blockage will be penalised between N5 million to N10 million for those organizations.
“For example, MTN, Glo, 9 mobile etc which we use their platform in transmitting these information, if nothing is done, we fine them and you will see that it will be a deterrent to others.”
A bill with similar focus was introduced in the 8th Assembly by former Deputy Majority Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, but was abandoned following public outcry.
It was titled “A Bill for an Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and other Matters Connected therewith.”
The bill reads in part: “Any person who unlawfully uses, publishes or cause to be published, any petition, complaint not supported by a duly sworn affidavit, shall be deemed to have committed an offence and upon conviction, shall be liable to an imprisonment for six months without an option of fine.”

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