People Politics

Twitter Ban: We’ve Not Stopped Nigerians From Using Twitter – FG

Following the Federal Government’s directive to ban Twitter in Nigeria, it has been reported that the FG has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that it has not stopped Nigerians from using social media platform, Twitter, disclosing that many Nigerians are still using it every day.

According to reports, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Federal Government said this in a counter-affidavit they deposed to in response to an originating motion filed by human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, 

Earlier reports had it that, the government suspended Twitter in 4th of June, barely two days after the social media platform deleted a tweet by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

Despite the ban, Nigerians have bypassed the Twitter suspension by using Virtual Private Network VPN, to access the media platform.

Malami earlier threatened in a statement to prosecute Nigerians still using the platform, and that the National Broadcasting Commission ordered all radio and television stations to stop using Twitter.

In reaction to this, a Human Rights lawyer, Effiong, has sued the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Malami, and the Federal Government for suspending the social media platform, terming it a violation of his rights.

According to Effiong, “The court should declare as illegal the threat of criminal prosecution by Malami and Lai Mohammed against Nigerians who ‘violate’ the suspension or ban of Twitter, despite the absence of any written law.”

However, In an affidavit deposed to by Mr Ilop Lawrence on behalf of the Federal Government and the AGF, “The suspension of Twitter was not an abuse of human rights because Nigerians are still using Twitter despite the suspension.”

The affidavit read that, “The applicant (Effiong) and the class he seeks to represent can still operate those Twitter accounts from anywhere in the world and even from Nigeria. Nigerians are still tweeting, even at this moment as the ban on Twitter is not aimed at intimidating Nigerians or an infringement on the rights of Nigerians to express their opinion.”

It added that, “The respondents (Federal Government and AGF) have never stopped the applicant (Effiong) and the class of persons he seeks to represent from voicing their opinions to access government information and offer criticism where necessary.”

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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