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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hate Speech: Ekwunife rejects bill, vows to resist replication of CyberCrime Act - ITREALMS

The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Iyom Uche Ekwunife has assured Nigerians and her people that she will not support any attempt to replicate any provision of the Cyber Crimes Act of 2015, reports ITREALMS.

Ekwunife in a letter to her people of Anambra Central Senatorial District following avalanche of telephone calls and messages on the issue of Hate Speech Bill recently read for the first time in the red chambers, said she will not be a party to attempts to duplicate Cyber Crimes Act, describing that as unnecessary.

“I am aware that the provisions of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015, and other statutes already have provisions and penalties for hate speech and consequently, any other bill which seeks to regulate these same areas would be duplicitous and unnecessary,” she said in a copy of the letter sighted by ITREALMS.

According to her, until the bill is mentioned for second reading with accompanying explanation from the sponsors, no debate can ensue on the floor of the national assembly.

She assured that alongside her colleagues at the Senate, they would never allow any bill which does not fully reflect the true wishes and interests of Nigerians to pass second reading.

Further, she noted that Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, guarantees to all Nigerian citizens, a fundamental right to Freedom of Expression.

“Therefore, to the extent that this Hate Speech Bill seeks to abridge the fundamental rights of Nigerians, guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, I will vehemently oppose it as being inconsistent with the Supremacy Clause of the 1999 Constitution as enshrined in Section 1 subsection (3) of our constitution,” Ekwunife said.

She urges her senatorial district to remain patient and law abiding, “As I assure you that this Hate Speech Bill, to the extent of it's infringement to the fundamental rights of Nigerian Citizens, will be rejected by me totally.”

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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