Offenders of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention ETC) Act, 2015, which the executive has categorised as “hate speech” in social media risk 10 years jail time and N25 million fine, on conviction so says Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The IGP made the comments while speaking at a round table organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in Abuja for bloggers, online publishers, social media influencers and the traditional media.
At the round table put together to sensitize media men on the dangers of the current spate of hate speeches in the country, the police boss also urged Nigerians to be mindful of Sections 24 and 26 of the Act.
Idris, who was represented by Mr. London Joseph, reminded social media operators that an offender, on conviction risk imprisonment for 10 years and/or a minimum fine of N25million.
“For the avoidance of doubt, section 4 of the Police Act has empowered the Nigeria Police Force to arrest and prosecute criminal suspects in the country.
“However, section 47 (1) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention ETC) Act provides that law enforcement agencies shall have power to prosecute offences under this Act while section 58 thereof defines law enforcement agencies to include “any agency for the time being responsible for implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Act.”
He also added that, “as the Nigerian Army is not one of the law enforcement agencies envisaged by the Act and other penal laws, it should not be permitted to enforce any of the laws against hate speeches.”
The IGP also used the forum to explain why the military cannot dabble into enforcement of Act saying the law is not within the military’s purview.
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