Senate Re-enacts Bill That Seeks Death Penalty For Hate Speech

The Nigerian Senate has reintroduced a bill titled “National Commission For the Prohibition of Hate Speeches” which was abandoned last year following a public outcry on the absurdity of the bill.

The controversial bill which was sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, (APC – Niger) recommends the death penalty for any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person.

Part of the bill explained what constitutes as a hate speech and went ahead to recommend a death sentence as the most severe punishment.

“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 behaviour commits an offense if such a 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 clarified that; “Any person who commits an offense 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.”

Many people have argued that the laws on defamation, slander, and libel should be strengthened and enforced in cases where people overstep the boundaries instead of proposing a new law that will hand out the death penalty.

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