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SERAP, other Nigerians to sue Buhari over Twitter suspension


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THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and other Nigerians are set to sue Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari over his suspension of Twitter operations in the country.

SERAP said this via a tweet on Friday evening in reaction to the indefinite suspension of the social media platform.

“We’re preparing court papers to sue President Buhari and @NigeriaGov over the illegal and unconstitutional suspension of Twitter in Nigeria,” SERAP tweeted.

The organisation also invited Nigerians  interested in joining the suit as co-applicants.

Buhari had suspended operations of Twitter in Nigeria, saying the social media platform was persistently used to undermine the corporate existence of Nigeria.

The ICIR observed that many Nigerians under the tweet had indicated interest in joining in the suit to challenge the President’s position over the suspension.

A user identified as Ooni of Abuja, who tweets @bayorajayi, said although the Nigerian courts were on strike, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) could be approached over the suit.

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“Even though the courts are on strike, we can approach ECOWAS court. I’m interested and can also give my legal support,” he tweeted.

His reaction was similar to that of many other angry Nigerians who showed dissatisfaction over the suspension of Twitter.

A legal affairs analyst and human rights activist Festus Ogun said the ban was a violation of Section 22 and 39 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Banning @Twitter violates S. 22 & 39 of the 1999 Constitution. Twitter seems to be the only medium through which we hold the reckless regime of Buhari responsible. We will resist the attempts to ban Twitter in Nigeria,” Ogun said in a tweet.

Section 22 of the Constitution states that “the press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”

Also, Section 39 (1) reads that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

Another Twitter user, Dípò Awójídé @OgbeniDipo raised questions, arguing that jobs were being sustained through social media platforms like Twitter.

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“Does President Buhari and the federal government know how much young Nigerians make on social media platforms like Twitter daily? Does Lai Mohammed know the number of jobs being sustained by Twitter in Nigeria? What is wrong with these people?” he said.

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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