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Court stops Buhari Government from arresting Nigerians using Twitter

Court stops Buhari Government from arresting Nigerians using Twitter

Court stops Buhari Government from arresting Nigerians using Twitter, it has been reported that any interference with Twitter is viewed as inference with human rights, and that will violate human rights, the court held.

ECOWAS court in Abuja has stopped President Muhammadu Buhari-led government from arresting Nigerians using Twitter, pending the hearing and determination of a suit brought before it by a rights body Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

Court stops Buhari Government

The West Africa regional court’s order comes four days after Peoples Gazette,  Paradigm Initiative for Information Technology Development and seven others filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja over the regime’s suspension of Twitter.

Online medium, The Nigeria Lawyer, quoted the court as saying, “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 news outlet, however, reported that the ruling followed the suit filed by SERAP and 176 concerned Nigerians, who argued that suspension of Twitter and the criminalisation of Twitter users have escalated the repression of human rights, and restricting rights of Nigerians to freedom of expression.

Court stops Buhari Government

Lawyer to SERAP, Femi Falana, described the ruling as a timely relief for millions using Twitter who have been threatened with prosecution under the provision of the Penal Code relating to sedition.

The Gazette learnt the matter has been adjourned to July 6, 2021, for hearing of the substantive suit.

Nigerians have started applauding the court decision.
Nigeria’s information minister Lai Mohammed on June 4 announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter in the country on the ground that it was used to spread false information and “activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

Court stops Buhari Government
Court stops Buhari Government

Attorney-General Abubakar Malami sought to enforce the ban by threatening to arrest and prosecute anyone who tweets in Nigeria.

Court stops Buhari Government

To circumvent the ban, which came without recourse to any existing law, Nigerians have been downloading VPNs and other browsers with built-in protocols that obscure their location.

Also, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) directed that broadcasting stations immediately stop the patronage of Twitter and de-install their handles.

Court stops Buhari Government from arresting Nigerians using Twitter.

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