The death penalty punishment has been removed from the controversial Hate Speech Bill, sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi.
According to Abdullahi, who is the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, in a statement in Abuja explained that the death (by hanging) penalty proposed for anyone found culpable of hate speech which leads to the death of another, would be amended by the Senate when the bill is subjected to legislative input by the National Assembly.
The former spokesperson for the Senate said the bill would undergo some fine-tuning to ensure that the clauses contained in its provisions to be passed into law, reflect the views of Nigerians, The Punch reports.
He added that the Senate welcomes contributions and inputs by critics and supporters of the bill.
He said such contributions would go a long way towards giving Nigerians the much-awaited law to address the disturbing trend of hate speech.
He insisted that hate speech had led to the death of many people and argued that the concept remained a major factor behind depression and suicide in Nigeria.
“We have followed closely arguments for and against the hate speech bill, and seen the reason why some kicked against it.
“Given the high respect which we have for Nigerians, we will make amendment to the death penalty aspect that most Nigerians objected to, so that a bill that meets their expectations is passed into law.
“Clearly from the conversations, Nigerians agree that we have a problem in the society today as a result of hate speech which has fueled so many killings and violence, and is responsible for cases of depression and suicides.”