A lawyer has questioned the federal government’s legal right to ban Twitter by dragging the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the Federal Government to court.
In an originating motion marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, a human rights lawyer, National Legal Adviser of the African Action Congress cum Co-Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Inibehe Effiong is seeking nine reliefs including an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further suspending, deactivating or banning the operation and accessibility of Twitter or any other social media service in Nigeria.
He also asked the court to declare as illegal the threat of criminal prosecution issued by AGF Malami and Mohammed against Nigerians who ‘violate’ the suspension or ban of Twitter, despite the absence of any written law.
The activist equally asked the court to declare that the act of the respondents is unjustifiable, unconstitutional, unjustifiable, undemocratic, arbitrary, null and void and amounts to a violation of the right of the applicant and other Nigerians
“It is therefore contrary to Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9 L.F.N. 2004. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,” he said.
In his supporting affidavit, Effiong said he was an active Twitter user since 2021 and currently has 45,500 Followers and follows 13, 600 accounts on the platform including dozens of accounts of broadcast stations in the country.
The activist stated that as a public affairs commentator, he uses Twitter to express his views on the failure, inadequacies and performance of the government at all level, including the federal government of Nigeria and its agencies.