Nigerian senator representing Niger North senatorial District, Sabi Abdullahi, who introduced a bill for the establishment of Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches, has explained why a penalty of death sentence was included in the bill.

In a chat with Premiumtimes, he said: “The issue there is that why not death penalty when you are responsible for deaths of other people?

“After all, our present law says if you do anything that result in the death of another person and it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that you caused the death of that person, the penalty is death by hanging.

“It is very clear. It has to be proven that there is hate speech, it has to be proven that the hate speech led to the death of that person. There is a condition that it has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

“People who may be having some opposing views about it definitely are not in the category of people who have lost dear ones and family or livelihood to similar circumstances.

“If they are, I think they will be saying how I wish this was in place before this thing happened to me. We are also careful not to allow anybody take that and think he can continuously use it to oppress other people for whatever reason.

“That (victimisation) is not possible, the bill does not leave it as an administrative act. The jurisdiction here is purely before the Federal High Court. The commission is independent and nobody can direct or influence it.

“The moment it is put in place, no authority can give it directives. It is independently empowered.” the senator explained.

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