The Nigerian Senate during plenary on Tuesday, stepped down the Frivolous Petitions (Prohibition, etc) Bill that sought to prohibit frivolous petition intended to report the conduct of any person in an investigation, inquiry or inquest without a duly sworn affidavit from the High Court of a State or a Federal High Court.
The withdrawal of the bill followed the report of the Senate Committee on Human Rights and Legal Matters submitted by its Chairman, Senator David Umaru (APC, Niger East).
Parts of the bill which was sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah (APC, Kebbi South) read:
Where any person through text messages, tweets, Whatsapp or through any other social media post any abusive statement knowing same to be false with intent to set the public against any person, and/or 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 imprisonment of 2 years, or a fine of N2 million, or both.
The Senate announced the withdrawal in a tweet:
DSP Ekweremadu now puts the question and Senate hereby steps down the #FrivolousPetitionsBill SB. 143 sponsored by Senator Bala Na’Allah.
— Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) May 17, 2016