El-Rufai Seeks Powers To Prosecute CyberCrime For State Courts

Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has demanded powers to prosecute CyberCrime for state high courts.

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The governor also sought enactment of legal framework to ensure the expeditious prosecution of purveyors of fake news and hate speeches.

El-rufai made these known in Kaduna, yesterday, while receiving the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in his office, on the sidelines of the 47th National Council on Information themed, “Tackling Fake News and Hate Speech To Enhance Peace and National Unity. ”

He noted that the challenges posed by fake news and hate speech are enormous, adding that Kaduna State government is establishing a legal framework, beyond the Penal Code, that recognises the peculiarities of spreading fake news and hate speech with use of technology.

“We have fundamental problems Your Excellency. First, we need to give state governments and state high courts the jurisdiction to try this because the federal government cannot do it alone.

“What we are thinking of doing in Kaduna State is to enact our own legislation against fake news and so on. Right now, we have enough in the Penal Code to try people that do that but we need a stronger framework that recognises the technologies and the processes that are used now more than ever,” he said.

He also commended the minister for launching the National Campaign Against Fake News, urging state governments to emulate the campaign.

In his remarks, the minister said fake news has become the most potent weapon in the arsenal of the political opposition, in view of their inability to take on the Administration because of its great achievements in all spheres.

“Your Excellency, you would have noticed in recent times that fake news has been on the increase and this is very simple, because the opposition cannot debate the federal government on issues. We challenged the opposition to debate us on the achievements we have made in agriculture, security, economy or in fighting corruption, but they could not do that. Rather, they have found out that their most potent weapon is fake news and hate speech.

“We have it on good authority that the opposition has engaged consultants from other parts of the world, whose only duty is to churn out fake news at intervals and confuse the gullible,’’ he said.

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