Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, sponsor of the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech (Establishment) Bill 2019 has hinted that the death penalty has been dropped.
The bill prescribes that any person who commits hate speech offence shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after a visit by the Niger State Eminent Citizens on President Muhammadu Buhari, Abdulahi disclosed that robust engagement was ongoing take out the contentious death penalty provision.
The lawmaker, however, insisted that he stands by his argument while putting forward the bill.
“I believe in the hate speech bill which I am sponsoring, the most contentious issue that drew people’s concern was the death penalty and I recall vividly at that particular instance I issued a statement that as a sponsor of the bill at the appropriate time, I will ensure that the death penalty is put away such that no matter what the punitive measure is, we can all agree on what it should be.
“But whether we desire a hate speech bill, my answer is capital yes. And my reasons are not farfetched.
That particular bill is designed to address at least something that is fundamental and has been going on for the past 40,50 years in this country.”