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#TwitterBan: Lawyer drags FG, AGF,  Lai Moh’d to court 

Anthony Iwuoma

A lawyer and rights activist, Inibehe Effiong, has dragged the Federal Government to court over the ban of Twitter operations in the country.

Also joined in the suit are the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN.

Effiong, in his Originating Summon, marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, is asking the court to grant his nine prayers, including an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further suspending, deactivating or banning the operations and accessibility of Twitter or any other social media service in Nigeria.

He also wants the court to declare as illegal the Federal Government’s threat to prosecute citizens that flout  the suspension order on Twitter without any legal backing.

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“Suspending the operation and accessibility of Twitter in Nigeria without any written law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society enabling the said suspension is unconstitutional, unjustifiable, undemocratic, arbitrary, null and void and amounts to a violation of the right of the applicant and other Nigerians to use Twitter for expression, reception of information and impartation of ideas,” Effiong argued in part.

“It is, therefore, contrary to Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9 L.F.N. 2004. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

The lawyer, in his supporting affidavit, said he has consistently used Twitter and other microblogging platforms to express his views on the failure, inadequacies and performance of the government at all levels, including the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies.

However, the Federal Government, on June 4, through the information minister, announced the ban of Twitter in Nigeria.