The Nigerian Senate on Friday said it has not taken any decision regarding the removal of the death penalty from the controversial Hate Speech Commission Bill currently before it.
Senate spokesman, Godiya Akwashiki stated this on Friday in an interview with journalists, adding that the red chamber had yet to discuss the issue of the death penalty in the hate speech bill because the proposal still remained the personal property of the sponsor until it passed second reading.
This is despite a promise by sponsor of the controversial bill, Aliyu Abdullahi, who had promised to amend the document to ensure the death penalty aspect was yanked off according to the wishes of Nigerians.
Akwashiki told reporters on Friday, that: “The issue of expunging the death penalty from the hate speech bill is not the decision of the Senate yet. There is a process of enacting an Act. The bill will pass first, second and third readings.
“The hate speech bill has just been mentioned for the first time. It has not come up for a second reading. It is when it is introduced for the second time that the senators will for the first time voice out for or against the bill.
“For now, the sponsor has said he will expunge the clause that prescribes the death penalty for hate speech; that is his own personal opinion.
“I have said it times without number that the hate speech bill is a private member bill. When we get to its second reading, that is when Nigerians will know the position of the Senate on the bill. If the bill does not pass second reading, that will be its end.
“The senators may even decide to remove other clauses apart from the death penalty provision.”
It would be recalled that the hate speech bill has received widespread condemnation from several Nigerians, local and international organizations, including the United Nations, especially for the provision of the death penalty as one of the punishment for offenders.
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...
INVESTIGATION…PARKVIEW ESTATE: Exclusive images of how billionaire property developer incurred Lagos govt‘s anger
Many have seen the demolished building, but not many know the circumstances that led to the teardown of the about...
INVESTIGATION… N.3bn down the drain, as Enugu communities suffer from dry taps
In November 2020, three organizations and the Enugu State government celebrated the completion of N300 million worth of projects that were expected...
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....