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#twitterban: What Nigerian Govt Told ECOWAS Court About Human Rights, Violations - Politics - Nairaland

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#twitterban: What Nigerian Govt Told ECOWAS Court About Human Rights, Violations by milann: 9:17am On Jun 23
The Nigerian government has told the ECOWAS
Court that its ban on Twitter does not affect the
human rights of Nigerians.

In its preliminary objection to a suit filed by a civil
society group, SERAP, and 176 other entities, the
Nigerian government argued that banning Twitter
had criminalised the operations of the social media
platform in Nigeria. The government, however,
argued that such ban did not violate the freedom of
expression of Nigerians.

“The subject matter of the SERAP suit relates to the
indefinite suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. This is
not in any way connected to any Nigerian or SERAP.
Individual user’s Twitter accounts are not
suspended.”

“The right to freedom of expression is completely
different from freedom of reach. The suspension of
Twitter does not fall under the provisions of arts 8
and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’
Rights,” the government argued.

“Twitter as an entity is not an organization of any
member state as it is an American microblogging
networking service. The suspension of Twitter in
Nigeria is not a right recognized under any treaty
enforceable by this Court.

“In the unlikely event that this Honourable Court
agrees with SERAP that the suspension of Twitter is a
fundamental right, the dissolution or liquidation of
twitter as a profit-making entity may as well open a
floodgate and vest the users the rights of a non-
existent right.

“Twitter is a profit-making entity which can be
proscribed/dissolved in compliance with any national
laws. The compulsory shut down of an entity cannot
be termed the breach of any fundamental rights by
this Honourable Court.

“The suspension of Twitter in Nigeria is in
compliance with the provisions of sections 420, 419
of the Penal Code [Northern Nigeria]; Federal
Provisions Act, and section 58 of the Criminal Code
Act. The operation of Twitter is in violation of
Nigerian domestic legislation.”

Details of the arguments by the parties and the
ruling by the court were sent to PREMIUM TIMES by
SERAP.

The Nigerian government also argued that the
ECOWAS Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the
suit.

“Ground Two: This Court lacks the jurisdiction to
determine the criminalization of an act under
Nigerian laws. The subject matter of the SERAP suit
borders on the criminalization of Twitter operation
in Nigeria pursuant to the Penal Code and the
Criminal Code.”

“The use and operation of Twitter in Nigeria
constitutes the offences of Importation of Prohibited
publication under sections 420 and 421 or the
offence of possession of seditious articles under
section 419 of the Penal Code Federal Provisions
Act.”

“In any event there is a right of action vested in the
suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, the said right vests
directly on Twitter and not individual users of
Twitter. This is more so that individual user’s
Twitter accounts were not tempered but only the
operation of Twitter.”

“Nigerians and SERAP have no cause of action. The
suspension of Twitter in Nigeria is in compliance
with the provisions of sections 420, 419 of the Penal
Code and section 58 of the Criminal Code, and
sections 78 and 79 of CAMA 2020.”

On Tuesday, the court dismissed Nigeria’s
preliminary objection and granted a temporary order
that essentially allows Nigerians to continue to use
Twitter.

The court “restrained the government of President
Muhammadu Buhari and its agents from unlawfully
imposing sanctions or doing anything whatsoever to
harass, intimidate, arrest or prosecute Twitter and/or
any other social media service provider(s), media
houses, radio and television broadcast stations, the
Plaintiffs and other Nigerians who are Twitter users,
pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”

The ruling followed the suit filed by SERAP and
others, arguing that “the unlawful suspension of
Twitter in Nigeria, criminalization of Nigerians and
other people using Twitter have escalated repression
of human rights and unlawfully restricted the rights
of Nigerians and other people to freedom of
expression, access to information, and media
freedom in the country.”

The court gave the order after hearing arguments
from the Solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana, and lawyer
to the government Maimuna Shiru.

“The court has listened very well to the objection by
Nigeria. The court has this to say. Any interference
with Twitter is viewed as inference with human
rights, and that will violate human rights. Therefore,
this court has jurisdiction to hear the case. The court
also hereby orders that the application be heard
expeditiously. The Nigerian government must take
immediate steps to implement the order,” the court
ruled.

Nigeria recently suspended Twitter’s operations in
the country, after the social media giant deleted a
controversial tweet by President Muhammadu
Buhari.

The Nigerian government also accused Twitter of
working against Nigeria’s interests and accused its
founder, Jack Dorsey, of sponsoring Nigerians who
protested against police brutality last October.

The Twitter ban has been condemned by many
Nigerians, civil society groups and foreign
organisations and governments as a clampdown on
the freedom of expression.

The government announced on Tuesday that it had
set up a committee to negotiate with Twitter.

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/469469-twitterban-what-nigerian-govt-told-ecowas-court-about-human-rights-violations.html
Re: #twitterban: What Nigerian Govt Told ECOWAS Court About Human Rights, Violations by Racoon(m): 9:20am On Jun 23
The Twitter ban has been condemned by many
Nigerians, civil society groups & foreign organisations & governments as a clampdown on the freedom of expression.
Always talking rubbish.Just as the legendary Lai-the- lying-liar said Nigeria government didnt ban twitter. The right to use the social is a globally acceptable right to free communication.Only tyrants does what Nigerian government does under Buhari.A autocratic govt ruling by decree 2 and 4 of 1984-85.
Re: #twitterban: What Nigerian Govt Told ECOWAS Court About Human Rights, Violations by Racoon(m): 9:21am On Jun 23
Save for govt & its defenders, every other person still use the platform, seemingly. What ban, really? How is this decision benefiting the government? Or, how was it that the expert aides within this govt could not foresee the fact that freedom of access to information via any app is very difficult to ban, in this digital age?
Re: #twitterban: What Nigerian Govt Told ECOWAS Court About Human Rights, Violations by Jostoman: 9:43am On Jun 23
Once again God bless SERAP, how i wish that useless NLC can also stand and defend the masses like this
Re: #twitterban: What Nigerian Govt Told ECOWAS Court About Human Rights, Violations by milann: 11:04am On Jun 23
We would see who laff last. Mynd44

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