The Senate president, Olusola Saraki, has announced on Friday that a controversial social media bill being considered by National Assembly will not be passed after all.
The proposed bill recommends up to seven years in jail or a $25,000 fine for anyone found to be sending “abusive messages” via Social Media.
According to the Senate president, who is himself the recipient of many abusive messages, the bill was dead on arrival when it was presented to the Senate in December.
Human rights group and activists have described the bill, which aims to punish anyone who “propagates false information” on electronic media, as an attempt to muzzle free speech.
He went on to tell a social media conference in Lagos that parliament recognises the role of social media in Nigeria’s development.
At the time, the hashtag #NoToSocialMediaBill was used to campaign against the proposal.