Senator Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s Senate President has insisted that there is no social media bill before the Senate but a Frivolous Petition Bill.
“There is nothing like social media bill in the Senate. What Senate has is Frivolous Petition bill,” Saraki tweeted on Tuesday adding that “if any part of the bill is found obnoxious or against public interest, it will be expunged during clause by clause consideration of the bill.”
The Frivolous Petition Bill being sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah has a clause that seeks to regulate the use of social media and short message service (SMS) in the country.
The Contentious part of the bill reads: “Where any person through text message, tweets, WhatsApp or through any social media post any abusive statement knowing same to be false with intent to set the public against any person and or group of persons, an institution of Government or such other bodies established by law shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be liable to an imprisonment for 2 years or a fine of N2, 000, 000 or both such fine and imprisonment.”
However, the Senate president has also promised to put in interest first in debating the bill.