Lai Mohammed Denies Announcing N5m Hate Speech Fine Despite Video Evidence

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Just three months after the federal government raised the hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says he didn’t announce the fine increase.

Mohammed announced the increase in hate speech fine during the opening of the Reviewed Broadcasting code in August.

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Days after the announcement, the minister while highlighting on a TVC live Program, “This Morning” on Friday, August 7, 2020, clarified that the fine was increased to dissuade individuals who are energetically abusing the arrangement to destabilize the nation.

Nonetheless, in a counter-oath because of a starting movement recorded under the steady gaze of a Federal High Court in Lagos, by basic freedoms attorney, Inibehe Effiong to challenge the fine, the minister said he didn’t announce any fine for hate speech.

As per Punch, Effiong is testing the inconvenience of N5m fine on Nigeria Info 99.3FM over supposed hate speech.

The affirmation ousted to by a Litigation Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Sunday Ojobo, peruses, “Passage 19 is denied. The second respondent (Mohammed) didn’t announce an addition in any fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5,000,000 or some other in light of the fact that there is a legislative body or foundation ordered to control and authorize the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.”

Mohammed further said that the constitution takes into account basic freedoms to be suspended for the public interest, adding that the NBC Act enables the commission to endorse stations that contradict its code.

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The minister likewise contended that Effiong came up short on the legitimate option to challenge NBC’s Code since he isn’t straightforwardly influenced by the commission’s authorization.

He stated, “The first respondent (NBC) has controls in deciding and applying sanctions including disavowal of licenses of defaulting stations which don’t work as per the transmission code and in the public interest.

“A public issues observer, anchor of projects and the media are not to utilize their foundation to induce public brutality or jumble or in a way hindering to the public interest.

“It is inside the domain of the Federal Government of Nigeria to keep up open security, public request in light of a legitimate concern for all residents of Nigeria to stay away from breakdown of lawfulness.”

In its reaction to the suit, the NBC supported the minister’s case, saying it reserved the option to authorize wayward stations.

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