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The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has fixed June 22 for a hearing on a motion in a suit challenging the Federal Government’s suspension of the operations of the microblogging platform, Twitter, in Nigeria.
The plaintiffs are the Registered Trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, and 420 Nigerians, including former Minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili and the co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, Aisha Yesufu.
The court, in a notice to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) and respondent’s counsel, Maimuna Lami Shiru, stated that the hearing would be virtual.
SERAP and the 420 Concerned Nigerians are suing over “the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, criminalisation 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”.
In the suit, they 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.
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