Hate speech: Falana reveals why Military cannot arrest offenders



Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human right lawyer, Femi Falana, has said the plan by the military to arrest hate speech offenders in the country in unlawful.

According to Falana, the Police had the lawful right to carry out such arrest and not the military.

Backing up his claims he said: “For the avoidance of doubt, section 4 of the Police Act has empowered the Nigeria Police Force to arrest and prosecute criminal suspects in the country.

“However, section 47 (1) of the CyberCrimes (prohibition, prevention etc) Act provides that law enforcement agencies shall have power to prosecute offences under this act while section 58 thereof defines law enforcement agencies to include ‘any agency for the time being responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this act.’

“As the Nigerian Army is not one of the law enforcement agencies empowered by the Act and other penal laws, it should not be permitted to enforce any of the laws against hate speeches.”

He also called for the implementation of pre-existing laws targeted at dealing with hate speeches and not establishing new ones.

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