Senator Reveals Minister Behind Hate Speech Bill

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A Senator in the ninth Assembly, Francis Fadahunsi (Osun East) has accused Information Minister, Lai Muhammed of being the mastermind behind the controversial Hate Speech Bill currently before the national assembly
Fadahunsi who was speaking with Journalists at the weekend disclosed that the bill was targeted at vibrant journalism, which has become the bedrock of the country’s democracy in the last two decades.
He said media practitioners all over the country must rise against the bill with a view to making sure it is crushed no matter the form it takes and the number of times it is introduced in the National Assembly.
His words: “It is important for all stakeholders in the country to stand against the hate speech bill because it is aimed at shutting the vibrancy of the media. I would not support such a bill as the media is now the most critical stakeholder in our democratic experience so far.
“Senator Sabi Abdullahi only front for the bill, it actually originated from the Executive, specifically, Lai Muhammed and the sole motive is just to box the media into a corner, where it would no longer have the vibrancy to question those in public offices.
“Every lover of democracy and rule of law must ensure that the hate speech is crushed no matter how it is introduced and the number of times it resurfaces in the National Assembly”, he added.
The Hate Speech Bill better known as the ‘Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill’ is being championed by Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North). The bill stipulates that any person found guilty of hate speech shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.
Though the lawmaker has stated that death penalty will be removed from the draft. On offenses like harassment on the basis of ethnicity, racial contempt, the bill proposes not less than five-year jail term or a fine of not less than N10 million or both.

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