‘We’ll remove parts that violate human rights,’ Saraki says

The controversial ‘Bill for an Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith’ prescribes a two-year jail term for social media critics and has attracted widespread outrage.

Bukola Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has said that the legislative chamber will remove the parts of the controversial social media bill which violate human rights during its third reading.

The controversial ‘Bill for an Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith’ prescribes a two-year jail term for social media critics and has attracted widespread outrage.

Saraki however said on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, while speaking on the side-lines of the Lagos Business School Dinner that the proper steps would be taken concerning the bill, Vanguard reports.

“We have only debated the principle of the bill, we have not gone into the details of the bill. So, if there is any part of the bill that does not conform to human rights, be rest assured that the Senate will do the proper thing. So there was no bill that was brought forward called social media bill,” the Senate President said.

“I think there is need for clarity on that and to let you know that those that led the protest, we have received their letters, we have told them to be rest assured that by the time it goes to committee work, and goes to public hearing, some of these things will come up.

“But you must understand that when those bills come to the floor of the Senate, they come as argument on the principle of the bill, and the principle of that bill was Frivolous Petition, nothing to do with social media but later on we did find out that there was a section in it about social media. That will go away when it comes to third reading, where you consider the Bill section by section," he added.

The bill was sponsored by Kebbi State Senator, Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

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