The Nigeria Senate has proposed a bill which seeks to establish a federal government agency to check hate speech in the country.
The battle for the elimination and fight against hate speech in Nigeria has begun.
it is an Abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation .
According to Thenation The bill, sponsored by a former Senate spokesperson, who is now the Deputy Senate Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, passed first reading on the floor of the red chamber on Tuesday.
It also sought the establishment of an Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches.
The Bill as presented to the Eight Senate had proposed that the commission would enforce hate speech laws across the country, and ensure the “elimination” of hate speech.
For offences such as harassment on grounds of ethnicity or race, the Bill had proposed that the offender shall be sentenced to “not less than a five-year jail term or a fine of not less than N10 million or both.”
The Bill had also proposed 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 behaviour” committed an offence.
It added that the charge would be justified if such a person intends to stir up “ethnic hatred.