By Raphael Ekpang
As reactions continue to trail the proposed anti-hate speech bill, a Lafia based lawyer, Nze Barr. Obiora Okpye has called on the senate to as a matter of urgency kill the bill forthwith, adding that if that is not done, they (Senators) should be ready to face their constituents.
He noted that, the said bill is anti-democracy., capable of frustrating civilized democracy we currently enjoy.
“The bill will, assuming but not conceding, be a law that will give birth to punishing any advocate of truth, it will suppress opposition in the country.my advice to the Senate is to kill the bill before it metamorphosis into law, otherwise, they too may be a victim,” he said.
“If passed into law will affect the fundamental rights of a common Nigerian. It will create a bias interpretation of laws in our country. As a matter of fact, the judicial interpretation will certainly be subjective and not objective.
“The bill will create legal crime in development of law and jurisprudence,” Barr. Okoye stated.
The bill, sponsored by the Deputy Senate Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, passed first reading on the floor of the red chamber on Tuesday. It is titled, “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech (Estb., etc) Bill 2019.
The controversial bill has received condemnation by Nigerians from all worth of lifes including an Abuja-based senior lawyer, Dr. Mike Ozhekome who said that the hate speech bill which scaled through first reading on Tuesday in the Senate was the most draconian piece of legislation.
Meanwhile, the former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubarkar, NBA among other well-meaning Nigerians have also condemned the bill and urged the senate to drop it with immediate effect.
Instant Africa news reports that Sen. Abdullahi had sponsored a similar bill in the 8th Senate, but it could not survive the second reading due to overwhelming opposition and criticisms from the civil society groups and the media.