A bill proposing the establishment of a National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches, has passed first reading on the floor of the Senate. The Bill is being sponsored by Senate’s Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.
The Bill came a week after the senate initiated moves to regulate the use of social media in the Nigeria.
Senator Abdullahi had in the 8th Senate, tried without success to have the bill pass March 2018.
The lawmaker is proposing death by hanging for persons found guilty of peddling hate speech.
Details of the Bill which was seen by newsreportersng.com, promulgates that any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person shall die by hanging upon conviction.
According to details of the Bill, it also provides life jail sentence, five years imprisonment depending on the degree of the hate speech. The Bill however provided an option of a fine of N10 million fine.
The Bill defined hate speech as comments that insult people for their religion, ethnic, linguistic affiliation, racial contempt among others.
The Bill states that, “A person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and /or directs the performance of, any material, written and/or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.”
It further states that “Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.
“For offences 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.”