SERAP Wins Twitter Suit Against FG At ECOWAS Court, Declares Twitter Use As fundamental Human Rights

ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, in its ruling on Tuesday, stopped the Nigerian government from intimidating or arresting anyone for using the microblogging platform, Twitter in Nigeria.

This was disclosed in a tweet by Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) on its verified Twitter handle.

The tweet read, “Victory: The ECOWAS Court of Justice, Abuja in a landmark ruling today has stopped the Buhari administration and its agents from intimidating, sanctioning, arresting or prosecuting anyone for using Twitter in Nigeria, pending the final determination of the suit. Details shortly.”

VICTORY: The ECOWAS Court of Justice, Abuja in a landmark ruling today has stopped the Buhari administration and its agents from intimidating, sanctioning, arresting or prosecuting anyone for using Twitter in Nigeria, pending the final determination of the suit.

Details shortly.— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) June 22, 2021

SERAP had earlier said it would sue the Nigerian government over its suspension of Twitter indefinitely. 

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The Nigerian Government on June 4 suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement signed by his Special Assistant Segun Adeyemi citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The Minister said the Federal Government had also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

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The development comes after Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet where he threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.

Buhari had in one of his tweets stated that his government would get “harder” on those hell-bent on destroying the country.

Following widespread condemnation of the tweet, Twitter deleted the message.

The platform said the message by the Nigerian President violated its rules.

SERAP, shortly after the government’s suspension, tweeted, “We’re suing Nigerian authorities over their ILLEGAL indefinite suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

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“Nigerians have a right to freedom of expression and access to information including online, and we plan to fight to keep it that way.

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