The Nigerian Senate has disowned the controversial Hate Speech Bill which passed through the first reading on the floor of the Senate a fortnight ago.
Its spokesman, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told reporters Monday that the Bill that was re-introduced by the Senate Deputy Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, was a private member Bill and not sponsored by the upper chamber as being alleged in some quarters.
According to him, the bill cannot be called a Senate bill “but simply a bill sponsored by an individual senator who has the right to sponsor private member Bill which will have to go through all the necessary processes including second reading and public hearing for it to make headway”.
Recall that a Bill to Establish a Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches resurfaced in the Senate last week.
The Bill titled, “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est, etc) Bill, 2019(SB.154) and sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger North was read the first time at Plenary.
Meanwhile, acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, All Progressives Congress, APC, Nasarawa South, Akwashiki said that it was solely being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, based on his conviction, however described as unfortunate, the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which insinuated that the bill was a Senate bill, skewed to make the alleged third term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He maintained that the fate of the bill would be determined on the floor of the Senate after a robust debate by senators.
Meanwhile, the ex-spokesperson for the Senate who sponsored the bill insisted at a news briefing on Monday that his proposed legislation was aimed at achieving peace in the country.