Akeredolu kicks against death penalty for hate-speech offenders

 Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Ondo state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Monday opposed proposed death penalty for hate-speech offenders in the country.

He likened the penalty to sentencing someone who steals N10,000 to death and freeing another that steals one million Naira.

Governor Akeredolu said this in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital at the opening ceremony of the sixth biennial international conference of the University of Ilorin Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies department.

The theme of the conference is: “Domesticating sustainable development goal 16 in Nigeria: Peace, justice and strong institutions.”

The governor added that “when I was the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) I vehemently opposed capital punishment for condemned criminals. I will be a turncoat as governor to now support death penalty for hate-speech offenders.

“As the governor of Ondo state I will not commit to death those condemned criminals, instead I will look into how to commute their sentences to life imprisonment. Or I will transfer them to other administrations.”

He regretted that there is no virile opposition in the country, adding that “every other person who was in opposition in 2015 has now crossed over to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). I am amused if I
see them decamping in droves to the APC.”

Ex-ABA president added that injustice real or imagined has been responsible for the absence of peace in Nigeria.

Said he: “Any discussion on justice which leaves out the deplorable conditions of the people is self-serving; it is patently unjust to have the mass of the people depend on handouts from the political class having lost the capacity to contribute to the development of the polity.

Read Also; Akeredolu warns against ‘unwarranted’ agitations on bitumen

“Until and unless the identifiable geo-political zones are encouraged to realize their potentials with a view to participating actively in the economic activities for growth and prosperity, there will be no end to crises.

“Current measures put in place seem insufficient to rescues the country from socio-economic doldrums.

Therefore, the preponderance of conflicts in virtually all parts of the country seems to suggest failure of the system. Working at these manifest lapses will assist greatly.

“Institutions of state must be self-regulating. The basic law of the land, the Constitution, and relevant subsidiary legislations must be the instruments which determine the life and functions of any institution created to take care of the welfare of the people.”

Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the university Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem lamented that the world, particularly developing countries are caught up in the ensnaring web of ceaseless and needless conflicts as well as entwining miseries of ineffective governance that sustain structural tensions and retard sustainable development.

Prod Abdulkareem added that “by 2017, 68.5 million people mostly from developing nations of the world, were estimated to have been forcibly displaced as a result of conflicts, violence or human right violations.

“Corruption, bribery and theft are said to have caused developing countries $1.26 trillion per year, thereby retarding their sustainable growth. It is saddening that our continent of Africa is suffering more than any other parts of the world from these centrifugal forces against sustainable development.

“Sadly, too, Africa has become the centre of conflicts. Various intra and inter conflicts, uprising and violence spread across the continent. Boko Haram in the north eastern part of Nigeria has become seemingly insurmountable. Kidnapping has become a common menace that threatens the security and guarantee of human rights of citizens in most parts of developing nations of the world.”

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Death Penalty For Hate Speech Draconian — Ozekhome, Others


Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has knocked National Assembly over attempt to pass a bill said to contain prescription of the death penalty for makers of hate speech.

He said the bill is an ill-intentioned, ill-conceived, ill-digested and ill-part, dictatorial and absolutist piece of nonsensical legislation waiting to consume all of us
“An obnoxious law such as this will further drive underground and into hiding, the opposition and genuine social critics who speak truth to power and criticise serial opaque, anti-people, corrupt and high-handed polices of government.

“This government has been tested and known to be very allergic to constructive criticisms. Its skin is very negatively thin against criticisms as regards citizens’ genuine concerns.It is a government that listens to itself,, sets its own examination questions, marks them by itself and award marks to itself. Citizens’ opinion does not matter”, he said.

Ozekhome questioning the rationale behind the move to pass the bill asked following questions: “What is hate speech, by the way, and who defines it? What is the true test of determining it? Is the test of a government in power? Or that of the traumatised people? Or, that of the NASS? Or that of the courts? Or, that of the Executive? Just who? I have not yet had the opportunity to read the bill and so do not yet have the details of this unusual bill that has allegedly passed the first reading, seeking the death penalty (by hanging) on alleged hate speech”
He urged that the bill should be deleted, saying: “I pray this provision is not true. I pray it is a mere moonlight tale, the type described as a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

“The bill should immediately be aborted and killed as a malformed embryo at its second reading gestation stage before it is allowed to be delivered as a societal monster”, he added.
Ozekhome alleged that government couldn’t be trusted by any sane person to fairly operate such a draconian piece of legislation introduced under a law that carries the death penalty for alleged hate speech. When has merely making a speech under Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution,which guarantees freedom of expression becomes not just treasonable felony (life imprisonment) ,but treason itself, that is punishable with death?

“Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek,,recieve and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

Rights activist and lawyer, Kunle Adegoke said the penalty is definitely in excess of the gravity of the offence.

He noted that while hate speech is condemnable in all its purport and essence, recommending death sentence for hate speech is too grave a punishment.

“A term of imprisonment, giving the opportunity to the offender to learn and be reformed, is sufficiently condign. In this age when the rest of the world is reducing the number of offences punishable by death, Nigeria will he off the mark to be prescribing death sentence for an offence sufficiently punishable by a less prescription”, Adegoke stated.

A Lagos based lawyer, Ige Asimudara, in his own reaction stated: “These are terrible legislators! How can a legislator propose the death penalty for hate speech? This is the beginning of the death of press freedom. It is intended to gag free speech. Who defines a hate speech? It is a bill that must not see the light of the day. It is unconstitutional to attempt to limit the freedom of expression and the press granted by the Constitution by an unpopular bill”.

According to him, government is too intolerant of criticism. He held that Nigeria’s politicians were just a terrible set of people. “We have not had this bill passed, you see what they are doing to Yele Sowore, Agba Jalingo or Adeyanju. See their atrocities everywhere”, he said.

Former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Dave Ajetumibi, said the penalty was too harsh, but supported any law to check reckless use of social media.
” I support any law to check the reckless use of social media to create chaos and hate. We need such law. I read that Sowore met Kanu in New York and they agreed to liberate Nigeria, meanwhile Sowore is still in detention in Nigeria”, he said.

The post Death Penalty For Hate Speech Draconian — Ozekhome, Others appeared first on TheNigerialawyer.

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Profiles: 4 Twitter executives that visited Nigeria with CEO, Jack Dorsey


On Thursday, 7th of November 2019, co-founder and CEO of social media service, Twitter, and mobile payments company, Square, Jack Dorsey, came to Lagos, Nigeria on the first leg of an African tour that will span Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The next day in Lagos, Jack met with entrepreneurs at the the Bosun Tijan-led Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) and afterwards headed to the University of Lagos (Unilag).

He also visited Andela and ended the day with a well-attended town hall meeting at the Techpoint Africa headquarters in Lagos.

The 14-man Twitter entourage included four executive members asides Jack Dorsey.

Kayvon Beykpour

Kayvon Beykpour is the co-founder and CEO of Twitter’s video streaming application, Periscope.

Beykpour started Periscope with Joe Bernstein in early 2014. Less than a year later, in January 2015, and before it publicly launched, the app was acquired by Twitter.

In 2017, Beykpour started overseeing all the video initiatives at Twitter as a product lead.

During the town hall meeting, Techpoint invited a Nigerian engineer, Dara Oladosu, to present the solution to Jack Dorsey. Oladosu had built a Twitter bot, called Quoted Replies, that allows users see quoted replies on their tweets.

Suggested Read: Quoted Replies: The viral Twitter bot built by a Nigerian

After the presentation, Beykpour called Oladosu back and offered him a job on the spot.

“I would love for you to maybe consider come joining the company [Twitter],” Beykpour said.

“Things went way better than I expected”. @dara_tobi, creator of @QuotedReplies, reacts to getting a job offer from Twitter. He also discusses the fate of his viral Twitter bot in this interview https://t.co/ZVQKwH6mc3 pic.twitter.com/1wgYOxjHv5

— Techpoint Africa (@Techpointdotng) November 9, 2019

Parag Agrawal

Parag Agrawal is the chief technical officer (CTO) at Twitter.

As an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, as well as having a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University, Parag was chosen in 2018 to lead the technology team of the micro-blogging site after working for Twitter as a distinguished software engineer for over six years.

According to Parag’s LinkedIn profile, he assumed the CTO position in October 2017, after six years of being in his previous role.

Before that, he focused on research in Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AT&T labs up until October 2011 when he joined Twitter.

According to Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), Parag’s contributions included “leading efforts to increase the relevance of tweets on Twitter users’ timelines using artificial intelligence.”

Parag is one of the people responsible for Twitter’s foray into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) space, and may have played a major part in utilising the technology to automate campaigns on the platform. Something that Jack Dorsey has cited as perhaps the single biggest improvement around elections since he became CEO of the company he co-founded.

During their visit to Techpoint Africa’s HQ, Parag made it clear that Twitter is looking outside the Bay Area for engineering talent.

“We’re looking to have half of our engineers out of San Francisco,” said the CTO.

TJ Adeshola

TJ Adeshola is the head of US Sports Partnerships at Twitter. He assumed the role after three years as the head of Sports League Partnerships.

In 2012, Adeshola left sports channel ESPN to join Twitter as a senior account officer. Before his current role, Adeshola managed Twitter’s partnerships with major US sports leagues, including the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Major League Baseball (MLB).

He is also the executive sponsor of Blackbirds, Twitter’s business resource group that celebrates and encourages diverse perspectives.

Adeshola is Nigerian by origin, but he is not the only Nigerian working at Twitter.

Michael Montano studied electrical engineering at The University of Toronto, graduating in 2008.

After his first startup, IPartee, which he co-founded with a roommate back in high school, Mike went on to participate in the 2008 Y Combinator (YC) summer programme to start BackType, a service that lets people find, follow, and share comments from across the web.

At YC, Mike learned how important it is to build something that people want and that building something that’s useful right away is a huge advantage.

He joined Twitter in 2011 as an engineer, and after a major reorganisation by Jack on June 28, 2018, Mike was tasked with leading the company’s engineering team.

Even as Twitter’s lead engineer, Mike admits to working from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He claims he is more productive on those days and able to spend more time on deeper, more strategic work. Tweeting under the hashtag #WhyIWorkFromHome last month, Mike explained that his journey into remote work was initially restricted to afternoons before he made it an all-day affair.

Before IPartee, Mike started a design and development company called, UrbanTwelve, but he doesn’t consider that to be a startup.

New Report: Nigerian startups raised a combined $38.01m in Q3 2019, just 7% higher than Q3 2018. Download the report.

Attend Techpoint Startup School, a 5-day intensive training for budding African tech founders and CEOs. Classes start 2nd of December. Enrol now.

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South Park creators give ‘official apology’ after reports the show was scrubbed from the Chinese internet


(CNN)South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker hit back at China after the government scrubbed the show from the Chinese internet.

“South Park” has never been afraid to be offensive, which is why the show now virtually no longer exists in China. Every clip, any online discussion from Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages have been deleted by the government, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Stone and Parker issued an apology on Monday after China’s crackdown — well, kind of.
    “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” they said in a statement on Twitter. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy.”
    Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in a tweet on Sunday. The backlash came quickly: The Chinese Basketball Association said it would suspend all cooperation with the team, and China’s top state broadcaster announced that it would suspend airing Houston Rockets events on television.
    The NBA said Monday that it recognizes that Morey’s views “have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”
    South Park creators give 'official apology' after reports the show was scrubbed from the Chinese internet - CNN
    This isn’t the first time seemingly harmless content has become forbidden in China. After people online compared Winnie the Pooh and Tigger to Chinese President Xi Jinping and former President Barack Obama in 2017, the honey-loving teddy bear was banned from China’s cyberspace.
    The “South Park” creators ended their faux apology with a jab at Xi and China’s authoritarian government.
      “Xi doesn’t just look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10!” Stone and Parker’s statement continued. “Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”
      Correction: This story was updated to reflect the South Park creators’ correct names.

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      No excuses for Australia’s Boomers as they aim for first Basketball World Cup medal

      On a high after beating the United States, Australias basketballers head to the Fiba World Cup hoping to make history

      Australia sport

      Its not really about them. The words of Joe Ingles, mere minutes after his Australian team had overcome international heavyweights the United States in Melbourne on Saturday, were telling. Despite making history by claiming the Boomers first-ever victory over Team USA in 55 years of trying, the shooting guard was not getting ahead of himself.

      It is up to us how we go from here we can keep building or think were on top of the world after one win, he reflected live on television.

      As the Australians departed this week for China and the 2019 Fiba World Cup, it was clear that Ingles and his colleagues were keeping their feet firmly on the ground. Triumph over the United States, ending the reigning world and Olympic champions 78-game winning streak, may have been a significant moment for Australian basketball. But it will be no salve to the Boomers disappointment if they return from China without a medal, which the team has long coveted but never grasped.

      Australia has been a powerhouse nation in womens basketball for some time now. The Opals were world champions in 2006, and have won Olympic silver medals on three occasions. But despite sharing the same talent production line, the globally-renowned Australian Institute of Sport basketball program, Australias men have failed to reach the same heights. The Boomers have made four Olympic bronze medal matches and lost each time; their best result at the World Cup a quarter-final berth in 1994.

      Yet buoyed by a record number of Australians in the NBA a total of 13 in the 2018/19 season the men appear on the cusp of international success. After decades of falling short against dominant North American and European sides at world championships and Olympics, the Boomers win over Team USA on Saturday was a statement of intent.

      Not that glory in China will be easy. Missing from coach Andrej Lemaniss squad are a host of NBA heavyweights: Ben Simmons, Dante Exum, Thon Maker, Ryan Broekhoff and Jonah Bolden are all absent for a mix of personal and professional reasons. Simmons is easily the biggest loss, as the most talented male basketballer Australia has ever produced.

      The depleted Boomers must also navigate a treacherous group of death if they are to have any hope of securing a medal. Australias tournament commences in Dongguan on Sunday against Canada. The teams lined up against each other twice in August, with the Canadians getting the better of the first encounter before Australia rallied to take the second. Their third match-up in three weeks will set the tone for both nations World Cup campaigns.

      The Boomers then face Senegal, the lowest-ranked team in Group H but a nation returning to international prominence. The Lions made the final of seven consecutive African championships in the 1960s and 1970s, and while they have not yet regained that clout, the current team won bronze in the 2017 edition. If the Australians triumph over Canada, a subsequent victory against Senegal would all-but secure their progression to the next stage of the tournament. If they leave the first match empty handed, Senegal will pose a stern test as the Boomers fight to remain in contention.

      The group stage concludes two days later, with a match-up against Lithuania. At sixth in the world rankings, the Baltic nation are the favourites of Group H (the Australians currently sit in 11th). But the Boomers have enjoyed an edge over the three-time European champions in recent years, beating them at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

      Although the draw may pose a serious challenge, and there is every possibility Australia could end up in the placement games fighting for 17th to 32nd rather than challenging for a medal, there is one silver lining. If the Boomers conclude the initial stage in first or second, and secure wins against the two best-placed of their group G opponents (Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Jordan) in the second round, they will avoid the United States until a possible gold medal clash.

      With a tough group and plenty of stars missing, it would be understandable if the Australians fail to end their long search for international success in China. The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo might represent a more realistic opportunity to break the medal drought. But Boomers assistant coach Adam Caporn insists the team is not looking for pre-emptory excuses.

      The goal is gold to make history and secure our first medal, he said. For Ingles, Caporn and the remainder of this tight-knit Australian squad, thats what its all about.

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