Controversial bills: Senate plans soft landing for Sabi, Sani Musa, others




PIC.23. SENATE CHAMBER DURING THE INAUGURATION OF THE 8TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY (9/6/15). 3023/9/6/2015/CH/BJO/NAN

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Aside the Water Resources Bill which is yet to resurface in the Senate after outright rejection during the 8th Senate, the 9th Senate is planning soft landing by way of legislative inaction on some of the controversial bills before it.

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Leading the pack of such bills is the “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est., etc) bill, 2019 (SB. 154)” sponsored by the Deputy Whip of the Senate , Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North) and passed for first reading on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Following the Hate Speech bill which has not been attempted for second reading on the floor of the Senate on account of public outcry against it, is the “Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and for other related matters bill 2019” popularly known as anti social media bill sponsored by another Senator from Niger state, Sani Musa,

Though the Senator Sani Musa’s anti social media bill scaled second reading in the Senate and subjected to public hearing on Monday, March 9, 2020, reports from the hearing, six months down the line, are yet to be presented to the Senate by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters that carried out the assignment.

It would be recalled that at the public hearing attended by Senator Musa who sneaked out of the venue in the heat of antagonisms against the bill, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele ( APC Ekiti Central), said preponderance of opinions for or against the bill, will determine the fate of the bill.

Though Senator Bamidele said reports on the public hearing was still being collated in July when confronted by journalists on what has been delaying its presentation on the floor of the Senate but the Senate’s position on the bill was subtly disclosed by its spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC Osun Central), penultimate week while reacting to alleged plan by the Senate to pass the bill for third reading.

Senator Basiru, who reacted to Sahara Reporter’s story that the Senate was planning to secretly pass the bill for third reading in a personally signed statement, described the story as false and a lie concocted by the media to ridicule and tarnish the image of the Senate.

According to him, “the report is yet another example of irresponsibility taken too far as there has not been any recommendation for passage of the bill by the Senate.”

The statement reads in part: ” It should be a common knowledge by all that the Senate conducts its sittings in the open and matters for consideration are well laid out and therefore, would not require anyone’s investigation to ‘dig’ out what the Senate would do.

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