The controversial hate speech bill currently before the Senate has been condemned by the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki.
Saraki maintained that the bill sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi on Tuesday was unnecessary.
The Minister spoke after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday while reacting to the reintroduction of the hate speech bill.
She stated that the CyberCrime Act already has provisions and penalties for hate speech, hence no need for the current bill.
According to Saraki: “Be that as it may, I think the Cybercrime Act, there is a law already in Nigeria, the cybercrime Act that has the hate speech aspect in it.
“The reason I am not privileged to know the sponsor of the particular bill that you mentioned, but there is a law. I stand to be corrected, I think it was passed in 2014/2015 I am not particularly sure but there is a law that takes care of that.
“Because cybercrime is now a major issue and as you know internationally, the world over, everybody is concerned about it being the new frontier to fight crime. So hate speech is within that cybercrime aspect.”
It was reported that Senator Sabi Abdullahi representing Niger North Senatorial district on Tuesday sponsored a private bill to tackle hate speeches and other social media related contents, considered antagonistic to the interest of Nigerian society.
The lawmaker, who was Senate Spokesman in the 8th Senate and now Deputy Chief Whip, wants the National Assembly to establish a Commission with administrative structures to deal with hate speeches in Nigeria.
The bill titled: “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est., etc) bill, 2019 (SB. 154)” passed its first reading last week.
The introduction of hate speech bill has since been met with backlash from Nigerians and lawmakers.