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Senate Bows, Dumps Anti-Social Media Bill

Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

Senate, on Tuesday, finally ‘killed and buried’ the Frivolous Petitions Bill, otherwise known as the ‘Anti-Social Media Bill’, after accepting to withdraw the controversial Bill which was sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

This was sequel to the recommendations by its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to withdraw the Bill.

The introduction of the Bill, which was perceived to have been aimed at restricting freedom of expression, sparked widespread outrage across the country.

It, however, did not warn the Upper Legislative Chamber, which passed it through the Second Reading late last year, thereby setting itself against the public.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator David Umaru, while delivering the report on the floor, said that the Bill was opposed by almost all stakeholders during the public hearing on it.

Umaru observed that the Bill amounted to violation of citizens’ rights.

He added that it contradicted the extant laws, imposing duty of investigation of petitioners, and serving as stumbling block to the fight against corruption.

Subsequently, he said that his Committee recommended the Bill’s withdrawal.

In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the Plenary, approved the Bill’s withdrawal.

The UNION reports that the short title of the Bill is: Frivolous Petition Bill 2015 (SB. 143).

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