Human rights lawyer Inibehe Effiong on Tuesday asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to declare illegal and a breach of the freedom expression of Nigerians the decision of the government to suspend the operations of Twitter, a micro blogging platform used by about 40 million people in the country.
The suit naming the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Minister of Information and Culture and the Federal Government of Nigeria asked the court to give judgment on nine motions, including lifting the suspension on the social media platform and in the absence of a supporting written law, declare the threat that users of Twitter would be prosecuted as illegal.
“…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 and is therefore contrary to section 39 of the constitution,” Effiong stated.
“I have told the court that the decision of the respondents to suspend Twitter have gravely ‘infringed on my freedom of expression and that of broadcast stations and other Nigerian citizens who depend and rely daily on Twitter for information, expression and impartation of ideas.”
This is coming following the suspension of the strike action by Judiciary workers in the country.
Eleven days ago, Twitter’s suspension by the government was followed by Abubakar Malami, the AGF, stating that users would be banned, drawing condemnation across the country and from the international community. Broadcast stations in the country were also ordered by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to stop using the social media platform.
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