It appears Lai Mohammed is changing his tone following an increase in hate speech fine he made earlier in the year.
The federal government about two months ago announced an increase in the fine from N500,000 to N5m – However, Mohammed has said that he never announced such a fine in spite of the evidence Nigeria’s information minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has denied announcing an increase in the fine for hate speech despite the video clip that shows him making the statement,
The minister in response to a motion filed by Inibehe Effiong, human rights lawyer before a Federal High Court in Lagos, to challenge the imposition of the fine stated on oath that he never made such an announcement back in August, Lai Mohammed had announced the decision of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to increase the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5m.
He clarified that the amendments were necessitated by a presidential directive, in the wake of the 2019 general elections. Mohammed had denied announcing an increment in hate speech fine. Source: the information minister in a counter-affidavit deposed by Sunday Ojobo, a litigation secretary at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, explained that Mohammed never announced such a fine. The affidavit reads in part:“Paragraph 19 is denied. The 2nd defendant (Mohammed) did not announce an increment in any fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5,000,000 or any other because there is a governmental body or institution mandated to regulate and enforce the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.