Sponsor of the controversial Nigeria Press Council (NPC) Bill currently before the House of Representatives, Olusegun Odebunmi, has said the media cannot force the House to drop any Bill before it.
Odebunmi, who represent Ogo Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency in Oyo State, spoke on Tuesday on a Channels Television programme, “Sunrise Daily” monitored by The Nation in Abuja.
The lawmaker said he was suspending the process of the NPC Bill to allow for further consultations on it.
He affirmed that he did not hold any consultation with industry stakeholders before presenting the Bill to the House.
According to him, the process of consultation on any Bill begins from public hearing.
Odebunmi said: “Personally, I am suspending the process for more consultations. However, what I am saying is that the NUJ or the media cannot gag the process of the National Assembly by saying ‘you must drop it’. That is not the way of doing things.
“I said we have suspended the process for more consultations to happen on it. They demanded for a lot of time and I said no problem, you can have all the time you need. During consultations, may people are free to engage and people have been submitting memoranda to the National Assembly from within the industry.”
The lawmaker also said the idea behind the Bill was not to gag the media but to correct some of the ills currently plaguing the industry and to ensure that there is a code of ethics to guide practitioners.