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Published On: Mon, Nov 18th, 2019

Tsav cautions FG, NASS on hate speech bill

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abubakar Tsav, (rtd) has described as ‘irresponsible’ any government that deliberately flouts court orders.
He also, frowned at the manner the Federal Government and National Assembly, NASS is handling the Hate Speech Bill, advising the two arms of government to tread with caution and strike a balance on the issue of the bill
Tsav who said this while speaking with newsmen in Makurdi, Benue State capital on Sunday, however, observed that reintroducing Decree 4 in the guise of hate speeches would amount to gagging the press.
The retired Police Commissioner also noted that the press must at all times publish verifiable truths, so as to avoid unnecessary libel and defamation cases.
He said, “But Decree No. 4 (during Buhari’s administration as military head of state) which was trying to bring censorship on the press is wrong; if we have a free press; a free press that speaks the truth; a free press that generally educates us, it will help the country.
“And where I have my fear is that people publish only what suits the government; they do not publish anything that’s against the government. But the press must be responsible too. Well I think that law is good.
“And as a journalist you must be sure of what you are publishing is true before you publish it and you must get your evidence ready, in case you are charged in court to prove your innocence.
On the issue of disobedience to court orders, Tsav said, “This is very, very bad. We need to have respect for our Constitution, respect for our judiciary and respect for the rule of law.
“Any government that disobeys court orders is an irresponsible government. If President Buhari’s government is disrespectful to court orders, it is an irresponsible government”, Tsav insisted.

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