Nigerian Senate passes Digital Rights and Freedom Bill

Joseph Olaoluwa reports in The Nation Online that the Nigerian Senate passed the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, following approval by the House of Representatives in December 2017. Olaoluwa notes that ‘The bill provides progressive legislative backing to online speech in the country’, and that the bill also supports freedom of expression and privacy. Nigeria’s first law protecting human rights online will now be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari for his signature, which will complete the process. According to Emeka Aginam in Vanguard, after passage by the house in January, the bill was initiated by civil society efforts lead by Paradigm Initiative working with NetRights Coalition. Aginam quotes the Director of Delta State Innovation Hub, Chris Uwaje, as saying ‘The bill, as well as similar bills, must be anchored on the foundation of a National IT framework Bill as the fundamental legislation on which all other Acts such as this should rest.’