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Hate Speech Bill Aimed At Silencing Criticisms — Falana

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Daniel Ojukwu

The defence counsel for Omoyele Sowore, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has said that the re-arrest of his client is proof that the Hate Speech Bill is an attempt to gag Nigerians from speaking against alleged massive corruption.

Speaking on Monday at a presentation of the third edition of ‘Compendium of 100 high-profile corruption cases in Nigeria’, Falana said that Nigerians must take ownership of the fight against corruption in order to make it successful.

At the event organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, Falana called in Nigeria to monitor budgets in their respective local government areas, states and at the Federal level. He called it insulting to say that Lagos was working, with poor road networks.

He faulted the education system in place as he said it was unfortunate that those who went to school for free, were the ones making it impossible for children of the poor to go to school now through policies and recklessness.

His words: “Don’t leave the politics of your country for professional politicians without ideas. If you leave governance to fools, you are going to be governed by the laws made by the fools.

“In this case, you leave politics for corrupt people, you are going to be governed by laws made by corrupt people. That is why they want to silence you. They want to silence you so that you won’t be able to ask questions.

“You can’t be producing books like this (in reference to the programme tagline) this is hate speech. I am serious, this is hate speech. Hate speech is a reenactment of the sedition law brought to Nigeria by the colonial regime.

“When you are charged with sedition, anything that will annoy the government, truth is not a Defence. Under Buhari’s Decree 4, truth was not a Defence.

“Hate Speech Bill is not about abusing somebody, it is about exposing corruption, exposing injustice, exposing criminality and exposing gross violation of human rights. That is what they mean by Hate Speech.

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