Twitter Ban: SERAP drags FG to ECOWAS court

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP and 176 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari over “the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, criminalization of Nigerians and other people using Twitter, and the escalating repression of human rights, particularly the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in the country.”

Following the deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed last week announced the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

The government has also threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone using Twitter in the country, while the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has asked all broadcast stations to suspend the patronage of Twitter.

In the suit filed today before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja, SERAP and the concerned Nigerians are seeking: “An order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing its suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, and subjecting anyone including media houses, broadcast stations using Twitter in Nigeria, to harassment, intimidation, arrest and criminal prosecution, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

In the suit filed by Solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana SAN, the Plaintiffs contend that “if this application is not urgently granted, the Federal Government will continue to arbitrarily suspend Twitter and threaten to impose criminal and other sanctions on Nigerians, telecommunication companies, media houses, broadcast stations and other people using Twitter in Nigeria, the perpetual order sought in this suit might be rendered nugatory.”

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