Social media bill proposes three-month jail for offensive users

Sani Musa, the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, has said that his bill on social media was aimed at guiding the users and not to gag any media practitioners in Nigeria.

The bill which is titled, ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019’, has passed its first reading on the floor of the Senate which was on Tuesday 4th November 2019.

In an interview with some journalists, Musa justified his reasons for reintroducing the bill and he said it was aimed at ensuring sanity on social media.

“Any individual who post false information on the internet, when found guilty would be asked to pay a fine of N150, 000 or they are sentenced to three months imprisonment.”

The senator also added that any corporate organisation that refused to block false information after the regulating agency had alerted it, would be asked to pay a fine ranging from N5m to N10m. Senator Sani Musa also said that telecommunications firms that allow their network to be used to disseminate false information, could also be determined to be sanctioned.

“This bill is not to stop any person from going online to do whatever they feel is true and legitimate. What is actually wrong is for you to use the social media platform to document information that you know is false, just because you want to achieve your desirable interest. If you commit an offence of this nature, and by virtue of what you have committed, the law enforcement agencies will take you to the court,” he said.

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