The Punch

Talking Points

Media bills

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It (Nigeria Press Council Amendment Bill) is a terrible draconian law. It has never happened in the history of Nigeria that a law as sweeping as this will be proposed. Not even under the military was this done. I can say clearly that the Nigerian press has been highly responsibl­e over the years. We’ve been taking the interest of the nation as our own interest too. Part of our duty is to act as a watchdog not only on the government, but on both private and public institutio­ns.

–Former Ogun State governor and ex-md of daily times, Chief Olusegun Osoba

The timing is totally wrong as the atmosphere is currently polluted. The sponsors of the anti-media bills should have awaited the resolution of the ban on Twitter. However, the sponsors have not bothered to familiaris­e themselves with the struggle for freedom of expression in Nigeria and in neighbouri­ng countries.

– Mr Femi Falana, SAN

It’s unfortunat­e that the current government is determined to bring the country back to the military era of Decree 4, where freedom of expression was restricted by the regime, yet we claim we are in a democracy.

–Chairperso­n, Transition Monitoring Group, Dr Abiola Akiyode-afolabi

Any bill, such as this one (NPC Amendment Bill) allegedly being planned or debated, that seeks or attempts to abridge freedom of speech and the press which are rights expressly guaranteed in Sections 22 and 38 (1) of the 1999 Constituti­on is unworkable, unconstitu­tional and must be struck down under Section 1(3) of the same Constituti­on.

–Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN

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