Tuesday, June 08, 2021 / 10:24 AM / by Odujinrin and
Adefulu Barristers, Solicitors and Notary Public / Header Image
On the 4th of June 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria, announced that the operations of Twitter has been suspended indefinitely in Nigeria. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence as the government's reason for the immediate and indefinite ban. Following the announcement, Twitter's site has been inaccessible to many Nigerians.
We align with the call of the Nigerian Bar Association and many well-meaning Nigerians that the Federal Government immediately reverse its indefinite suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria and its instruction to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to commence the licensing of social media operations in the country.
We also call for the retraction of the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, ordering the prosecution of users of Twitter after the suspension. Prosecution is only attributable to an offence being committed; the proscription of Twitter is not a law of the land therefore flouting it does not constitute a crime.
These recent actions by the Federal Government are inimical to constitutional democracy and encroach on the rights of Nigerians to freely express themselves. Freedom of expression is constitutionally guaranteed under Section 39(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and it is imperative that our Constitution be held sacrosanct for the sake of posterity and the unity of our dear Nation.
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