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Hate Speech Offenders To Die By Hanging: Nigerian Senate

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A new bill passed today 1 March, by the senates reads “Any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person shall die by hanging upon conviction”.

Sponsored by the spokesman of the upper chamber, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger). The bill, which reflects the growing concern about the rate of violence resulting from hate speeches in the country.

Naija News also gathered that the senate also seeks the establishment of an ‘Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches’, which is expected to enforce hate speech laws across the country, eliminate the menace and advice the government. Ethnicity or racial contempt would attract a sentence of “not less than a five-year jail term or a fine of not less than N10 million or both.”

The bill notes: “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 offence, if such 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.”

Also that “a person subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity for the purposes of this section where, on ethnic grounds, he unjustifiably engages in a conduct which has the purpose or effect of (a) violating that other person’s dignity or (b) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person subjected to the harassment.

“Conduct shall be regarded as having the effect specified in subsection (1) (a) or (b) of this section if, having regard to all the circumstances, including in particular the perception of that other person, it should reasonably be considered as having that effect.”

Naija News learnt that an executive chairperson, appointed by the president would head National Commission for Hate Speeches, based on recommendation of the National Council of State.

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