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Bill to establish National Religious Harmony Commission scales second reading

The House of Representatives has passed a bill for the establishment of the National Religious Harmony Commission to tackle religious-inclined infractions and promote religious freedom.…

The House of Representatives has passed a bill for the establishment of the National Religious Harmony Commission to tackle religious-inclined infractions and promote religious freedom.

The bill presented for second reading at the plenary on Tuesday, was sponsored by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Abubakar Hassan Fulata (APC, Jigawa).

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Presenting the bill, the sponsors stated that it seeks to provide a statutory framework for the protection of fundamental human rights of Nigerians as it relates to matters of religious freedom and liberty.

They stated that, when established, the commission would be empowered to investigate cases of religious discrimination, victimisation and harassment in all facets of Nigeria and prosecute offenders.

The commission will also, “monitor incidents of religious extremism, including hate speech and other actions and utterances intended to incite violent passions and prosecute offenders; provide an early warning system for government and law enforcement to detect and prevent actions liable to incite religious violence and breakdown in law and order”.

The bill was passed by the House after a voice vote put forward by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary.