The minister of information, Lai Mohammed has denied any knowledge of the “social media” bill prior to its presentation in the 9th national assembly.
The bill titled, “Protection From Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019” was sponsored by the Senator representing the Niger East, Mohammed Musa.
Although the bill received numerous backlash from Nigerians, it progressed second reading at the senate.
Lai Mohammed while speaking in an interview with DW’s Tim Sebastian, said; “Who is the author of that bill, I am not even aware of it. There’s no such bill before the house. I can say that categorically and authoritatively that there’s no such bill before the house,”
Also speaking on the hate speech bill, the minister of information said the government of Buhari is not the mastermind and anyone thinking such is ignorant.
“What is even more shocking here is the ignorance of people. There’s what we call separation of power in major democracies. This particular bill you’re talking about is a bill submitted not by the executive but by the legislative arm of government, so how can you accuse the executive?” he asked.
“Do we have a choice which bill goes through or not. The government does not come in until when the bill has been passed.
“The only thing you can do as a president is refusing your to assent to such a law. The law has not even been passed. It is still with the senate. So, how does the president stop it without being accused of dictatorship? We don’t micromanage the parliament.”