The bill, seeking a two-year jail term for any person who makes false allegation or publishes any statement or petition in the newspaper, radio or medium of whatever description against another person, institutions of government or any public office holder, passed second reading in the Senate on Wednesday.
Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah is a lawyer and a pilot. He is married with children.
He was elected to the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Zuru, Kebbi State from 2003 -2011 and elected to the Senate in 2015 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He currently serves as Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
On the social media, the bill sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah read: “Where any person through text message, tweets, WhatsApp or through any social media post any abusive statement knowing same to be false with intent to set the public against any person and group of persons, an institution of government or such other bodies established by law shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, shall be liable to an imprisonment for two years or a fine of N2,000,000.00 or both fine and imprisonment.”
Ever since news of the planned bill filtered into the media, Nigerians from all walks of life have taken to the social media via the hashtag #NoToSocialMediaBill to condemn the bill as a draconian and undemocratic attempt to gag freedom of expression.
SIGNAL launched a Twitter poll on Wednesday seeking the opinions of Nigerian citizens on the move by the Nigerian Senate.