The social media bill passed the second reading on the floor of the senate on Wednesday, November 20, 2019; which means it’s well on its way to becoming law, seeing as it is only one more reading and assent by the executive, away. According to Nnamani, the bill is completely unnecessary because some of its provisions have been taken care of in the Cyber Crime Act signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Senator made it known that fake news has done a lot of damage in various advanced nations; these nations however, did not bring any new laws. Also, everyone is concerned in this bill; no one should therefore think it is of zero concern to them.
“I not only oppose this bill, I condemn it in its entirety. Based on our constitution, there is freedom of information and freedom of speech.
“There is a Cyber Crime Act that deals with this issue. There are also laws that deal with false information, libel, slander and so on.
“Yes, fake news has done a lot in America and other countries but they have not brought any law to deal with it. This bill is pure censorship; it has no business in 2019 Nigeria. I, therefore, oppose this bill,” Nnamani said.
After listening to both sides of the argument, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, put the debate to a voice vote. Majority of the senators went with Musa.
Lawan would then refer the bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights which will conduct a public hearing with stakeholders and report back after four weeks.