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JOHANNESBURG – The Nigerian Senate has reportedly reintroduced a bill, that it had previously abandoned, which will impose the death penalty on anybody found guilty of hate speech that incites the death of another person.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate Abdullahi Sabi sponsored the bill entitled ‘National Commission For the Prohibition of Hate Speeches’ on Tuesday, the Nigeria Guardian reported.

The upper legislative chamber was last year forced to drop its first attempt to enact the law following a massive public outcry that ensued.

The bill also reportedly proposes a five-year jail term or a heavy fine, or both, if anybody harasses somebody based on their ethnicity.

However, the planned law has already been slammed by some critics, including former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, who cautioned the senate against promulgating the anti-hate speech bill into law.

The Nigerian Senate reportedly reintroducing a law to impose the death penalty on anybody found guilty of hate speech that incites the death of another person. Video: Zodidi Dano/ African News Agency.

“The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just about hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech,” said Abubakar.

African News Agency