– A lawsuit has been filed to an ECOWAS court against President Buhari over his order against the use of Twitter
– The application was filed on Tuesday, June 8, by SERAP, and not less than 177 other concerned Nigerians
– The group said the ban of the online platform is an infringement on the freedom of speech and access to information
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President Muhammadu Buhari was on Tuesday, June 8, dragged to a court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over the recent ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The lawsuit which described the federal government’s decision as illegal was filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 177 Nigerians represented by a renowned human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, PM News reports.
The plaintiffs are seeking “An order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing its suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.”
They also seek a stay order on the “government from 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.”
The group claimed that unless the application is granted, the government will impose sanctions on broadcast stations, telecommunication companies, media houses, and other citizens who use the social media platform daily, Premium Times also reported.
Part of the suit read:
“The free communication of information and ideas about public and political issues between citizens and elected representatives is essential. This implies a free press and other media able to comment on public issues without censor or restraints, and to inform public opinion. The public also has a corresponding right to receive media output.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and the full enjoyment of this right is central to achieving individual freedom and to developing democracy. It is not only the cornerstone of democracy, but indispensable to a thriving civil society.”
FG Makes Clarifications on alleged Condition for Lifting Ban
Meanwhile, the ministry of foreign affairs on Monday, June 7, said that the federal government had not listed conditions to lift the suspension of microblogging site Twitter in the country.
Legit.ng reported that this was contained in a statement signed by the ministry’s spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye.
The statement was titled, ‘Clarification of comments by the honourable minister of foreign affairs at his meeting with envoys.’