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#twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers - Politics - Nairaland

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#twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by ijustdey: 1:29pm On Jun 06
Nigerian lawyers say Mr Malami’s threat to prosecute alleged violators of the government's ban on Twitter lacks any legal basis.


By Ameh Ejekwonyilo


The threat by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to prosecute “violators” of the government’s ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria lacks legal basis, some lawyers have argued.

The government, through the information minister, Lai Mohammed, had on Friday suspended Twitter operations in the country.

The crackdown on Twitter came two days after the social media platform deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s controversial tweet seen as a veiled threat of violence against the Igbo ethnic group.

It is seen by many Nigerians as an attack on citizens’ right to freedom of expression and a step closer the execution of the government’s years-long ambition to impose regulations on the social media space in the country.

But since the ban on Twitter on Friday, many Nigerians have been using various Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications to remain active on the microblogging site.

Mr Malami, in reaction to the development on Saturday, ordered the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Umar Muhammed, to begin the prosecution of those bypassing the ban.

He directed the DPPF to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Commission (NCC) and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of the “offenders without any further delay”.

‘No constitutional backing’

But in separate telephone interviews with our correspondent on Saturday, lawyers argued that there were no constitutional provisions to support Mr Malami’s directive to the DPPF to try Nigerians for alleged breach of the government’s suspension of Twitter operations.

A legal practitioner and human rights activist, Malcolm Omirhobo, said it was unfortunate that the attorney-general was unable to offer sound legal advice to President on the Twitter matter and other issues in the country.

“The inability of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to distill issues so as to guide the President and government properly on what decisions to take in issues of law and many others in the country is most unfortunate.

“Mr Malami’s directive to the DPP of Nigeria has no legal backing,” Mr Omirhobo said.

‘Use of Twitter not codified as an offence’
Also a constitutional lawyer, Daniel Bwala, agreed with Mr Omirhobo, that the use of Twitter had not been defined as an offence by mere suspension of the social media platform by the federal government.

According to Mr Bwala, “unless the use of Twitter is codified in law as an offence, you (the government) cannot prosecute any Nigerian for the use of Twitter.”

He explained, “The law of the land says nobody will be convicted or prosecuted for any offence that is not defined by law for which the punishment is prescribed in a written constitution.”

In a video post on Facebook, Mr Bwala, agreed with the government’s suspension of Twitter operations on the grounds the firm’s “double standards” in allowing other alleged violators of the company’s policy, but urged Nigerians to “discard the assertion by the AGF that people can be prosecuted for the use of Twitter” in Nigeria.

‘Tending towards dictatorship’

Another lawyer, Silas Onu, queried what law would be violated if a Nigerian used Twitter.

He noted that the action of the AGF was tending towards dictatorship.

“What law will be broken if someone uses Twitter? Some things done by this Attorney General truly do not deserve any response. Nothing is an offense unless it is clearly stated as such and punishment also prescribed for breaches. Therefore, the action of the AGF is tending towards dictatorship,” Mr Onu said.

‘Disregard prosecution threat’

While lampooning the minister on Twitter on Saturday, Inibehe Effiong, urged Nigerians to disregard his threat.

In his tweet, Mr Effiong, a human rights lawyer, said inter alia, “…this is supposed to be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Nigerians, ignore this infantile statement. It is brutum fulmen. Using VPN to bypass illegal suspension of Twitter is not a crime.”

‘Amounts to crime against humanity’

On its part, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), in a tweet said “arresting and misusing the criminal justice system to prosecute Nigerians using Twitter in Nigeria (on the basis of a public statement by the Federal Government) would amount to a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.”

Referencing Section 36(12) of the 1999 Constitution, another lawyer, Festus Ogun, explained,

“Malami’s order for the arrest and prosecution of Twitter users has no stand in law. Section 36(12) of the Constitution provides that an arrest and prosecution cannot be made except by a law.

“Is Malami now a law unto himself?,” the lawyer wondered, adding that Nigerians would resist any attempt to deny them of their liberty.

Condemnation

Meanwhile, a group known as Youth Rights Campaign, has condemned the ban on Twitter, describing it as “an attack on democratic rights.”

In a statement by its national coordinator, Adaramoye Michael, the group demanded an immediate reversal of the ban.

“The Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) strongly condemns the recent suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. This declaration of suspension is dictatorial and a direct attack on the democratic rights of Nigerians to freely express themselves.

“We hereby call on the Federal government to reverse this suspension immediately. At the same time, we call for a halt to all attacks on democratic rights including reversal of the social media bill and indeed all measures aimed at curtailing civil liberties. We also demand the unconditional release of all political detainees.”

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/465877-twitterban-malamis-prosecution-threat-lacks-legal-backing-lawyers.html

5 Likes 2 Shares

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Truekay: 1:32pm On Jun 06
It doesn't take much time to know. Mallami is an error in government who talks before thinking.

123 Likes 6 Shares

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Nuelito: 1:35pm On Jun 06
Local man is just speechless on top dx matter
Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Luigi03(m): 1:35pm On Jun 06
These lawyers should shut up. Wait for him to arrest first before letting him knw that he doesn't have the right to arrest anyone.
They should let him fall into the trap so that we'll all BLAST him cheesy

19 Likes 4 Shares

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Powersurge: 3:44pm On Jun 06
Malami dey among pple who person dey take seriously?

26 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Jayrockk: 4:01pm On Jun 06
That's what happens when some dumb animals vote for a bigger dumb animal undecided

60 Likes 2 Shares

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by fitzmayowa: 4:26pm On Jun 06
This is the result of using quota system to appoint people into important position in this country.....

60 Likes 5 Shares

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by TooNoisy(f): 8:40pm On Jun 06
It also lacks common sense!

I guess common sense is very scarce in the Buhari administration!

34 Likes 1 Share

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by EdoAirline: 8:40pm On Jun 06
This Government go soon ban VPN......

This Government go soon ban Facebook sef....

When there's nothing left to ban...The Government will Ban the word BAN

If you mention that word anyhow Malami will cook up a law that'll have you arrested

19 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by RIPTBJOSHUA: 8:41pm On Jun 06
#Fact

1 Like

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by SARSCoV2: 8:41pm On Jun 06
sad

5 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by DMerciful(m): 8:41pm On Jun 06
Malami, the Senior Advocate of Nonsense undecided

24 Likes 2 Shares

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Abbeyme: 8:42pm On Jun 06
Weyin e o
Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by musicwriter(m): 8:42pm On Jun 06
Of course.

Follow the link below to learn how to use Twitter without VPN. Please share on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp to your friends.
Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by paddyDIGITAL(m): 8:42pm On Jun 06
These ones don't need any legal backing for anything they want to do now. They are above the law.

2 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by omooodua(f): 8:43pm On Jun 06
There was a country



ijustdey:
Nigerian lawyers say Mr Malami’s threat to prosecute alleged violators of the government's ban on Twitter lacks any legal basis.




https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/465877-twitterban-malamis-prosecution-threat-lacks-legal-backing-lawyers.html

1 Like

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by HADINigeria: 8:43pm On Jun 06
Noted
Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Anter: 8:43pm On Jun 06
We know, quota system lawyer cannot threaten 13 million twitter users. Which court wan try us.

14 Likes 1 Share

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Boye33: 8:43pm On Jun 06
ijustdey:




Mr Malami, in reaction to the development on Saturday, ordered the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Umar Muhammed, to begin the prosecution of those bypassing the ban.

He directed the DPPF to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Commission (NCC) and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of the “offenders without any further delay”.


Malawi
Umar Mohamed
Isa Pantanmi

Square peg in round holes.
You see the similarity between the three of them.
Their actions define their thought process that one can easily deduce they are mentally backward people.

I will advise Mr Lai Mohamed,as a matter of urgency to have his brain checked as bode George suggested.
His affiliation with this people is having adverse effect on his brain.

I'm not really surprised Femi Adesina has kept mute on this issue, it appears he still has some sense of reasoning left in him.

11 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by CASTOSVILLA(m): 8:43pm On Jun 06
I need a head shot for this man

2 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by israelmao(m): 8:43pm On Jun 06
Senior Advocate of Nonsense.

3 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by JAfason: 8:44pm On Jun 06
You voted buhari at 21 years old, by 2023 you will be 28 years

Continue.

If you like vote old cargos like tinubu with no vision you will regret it.

Your 30s will be wasted and at 40 you will have nothing to show for it.
Be warned

28 Likes 3 Shares

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by Adolfhitler001: 8:45pm On Jun 06
Effect of quota system grin

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by sevo(m): 8:45pm On Jun 06
What you get when you put round pegs into square holes...says much about the incompetency running deep in this useless administration

7 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by mzBEAM(f): 8:45pm On Jun 06
The person that killed Abacha is very much needed in Zoogeria at the moment.

2 Likes

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by AntonVince: 8:45pm On Jun 06
Only in a government composed of dunderheads will you find a misfit as Malami holding such a sensitive portfolio as AGF/MoJ.
A dullard can only beget a grand dullard.

cheesy grin

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by eedimo(m): 8:46pm On Jun 06
Let's enjoy this lovely administration in peace.

1 Like

Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by insidelife22(m): 8:46pm On Jun 06
is anyone even sane in this country anymore?coz none is making sense.
Re: #twitterban: Malami’s Prosecution Threat Lacks Legal Backing – Lawyers by BrainSanitizer: 8:46pm On Jun 06
I had a friend who behaved like the presidency is behaving right now.
Whenever he's having a quarrel with someone, he expected me to quarrel with the person as well.
During one of my visits to his place, he told me that he was quarrelling with his neighbour (a lady) and I should not talk to her too.
I found it funny and just laughed it off.
In the evening, he said we should go out to watch football but I told him I wanted to rest.
When he has gone out, I had a nice evening with the neighbour and we banged.
Same thing happened on the following day.
I left on Sunday morning.
When they finally settled their fight, I told him that I've been banging the babe and we just laughed it off.
Hope the presidency will also laugh it off with Nigerians when this Twitter fight is finally over?

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