Hate speech: Don’t turn yourself to court of law, rights activist tells IGP •Urges Police not to become a political tool

Posted by News Express | 15 September 2017 | 1,646 times

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•CHRSJ Executive Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman

The Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman, has cautioned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and Nigeria Police Force (NPF) against turning themselves into a court of law, saying that only a court of competent jurisdiction can identify  what the All Progressives Congress(APC) led-Federal Government has described as ‘hate speech’.

The rights activist who condemned the position of the Police boss, stated that his statements are tantamount to gagging the Nigeria people from having access to the truth about the governance of the country as stipulated by section 22 and 39 of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is the supreme law of the land, adding that the constitutional provision gave right to freedom of expression.

Comrade Sulaiman, while reacting to the recent statement credited to the IGP Idris that an offender of hate speech was risking a jail term of ten years and N25 million option of fine, rejected the IGP comment by describing the statement as dictatorial and hate speech against humanity.

The CHRSJ boss also called on the Police and other security operatives in the land to adhere strictly to the tenets of democracy as the international best practices of system of government that gives free speech to the people of any nation, asking rhetorically, the law that gave power to Nigeria Police to jail for 10 years or collect N25 million for hate speech.

He disclosed that what the authority of Nigeria Police in collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration tagged as ‘hate speech’ was a way to halt freedom of speech and expression by gagging the voice of the voiceless and opposition in the land. He warned the Police not to allow themselves to be used by the present ruling party (APC) which he also described as the “Father of Hate speeches while it was in opposition.”

He then urged the police as a respected security institution in the land not to act in such a way that would truncate the current democratic experiment by returning the nation back to the dark days of military era.

He also called on the Police to dissipate their energy on how to curb Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram and other security challenges facing the country, through the adoption of intelligence gathering so as to nip crimes in the bud, instead of   looking for political hate speeches among the politicians because of 2019 general elections.

While carpeting Nigeria Police over the subject matter, Sulaiman wondered how Cybercrime Act 2015 provision would be turned to ‘hate speech Act’ by the Nigeria Police, quoting the primary objective of the 1999 Constitution as amended to support all his argument that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”


Source: News Express

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