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Breaking: Death penalty will be amended, says sponsor of ‘hate speech bill’

Aliyu Abdullahi, sponsor of the bill seeking to check hate speech, says the death penalty aspect will be amended in line with the wish of Nigerians.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, Abdullahi said the bill will undergo some fine-tuning to reflect the views of Nigerians.

He added that the senate will accept contributions and input by critics and supporters of the bill, saying such will go a long way in giving Nigerians the law to address the “disturbing trend” of hate speech.

Section 4 (2) of the bill provides that any person found guilty of hate speech shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished through death by hanging.

Civil society groups and human rights activists have rejected the bill, describing it as an attempt to suppress the people and stifle freedom of speech.

However, Abdullahi said hate speech has led to the death of many and is a major factor behind depression and suicide in Nigeria.