ECOWAS Court Declares Twitter Ban Illegal, Says Buhari’s Govt Should Not Repeat It
Following a suit by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 176 concerned Nigerians, the ECOWAS Court has declared unlawful the suspension of Twitter by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and ordered the administration never to repeat it again. PM NEWS reports.
This development was made known on Thursday by SERAP’s deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare. Information Guide Nigeria
It would be recalled that following the deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed announced the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.
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But in the judgment delivered today, the ECOWAS court declared that it has the jurisdiction to hear the case, and that the case was therefore admissible. jamb results
According to the Court, “The Buhari administration in suspending the operations of Twitter violates the rights of SERAP and 176 concerned Nigerians to the enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and the media, as well as the right to fair hearing.”
Reacting to the judgment, Femi Falana, SERAP’s lawyer in the suit said, “We commend the ECOWAS Court for the landmark judgment in the case of SERAP v Federal Republic of Nigeria in which the Judges unanimously upheld the human rights of community citizens to freedom of expression, and access to information. Even though the Court had granted an interim order of injunction last year which restrained the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN from prosecuting Nigerians who defied the Twitter ban, SERAP deserves special commendation for pursuing the matter to a logical conclusion.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and the full enjoyment of this right is central to achieving individual freedom and to developing democracy. It is not only the cornerstone of democracy, but indispensable to a thriving civil society.
“With the latest decision of the Court to declare the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria illegal it is hoped that the Heads of State and Governments of the member states of the Economic Community of West African States will henceforth respect and uphold the human right of community to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
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