West African Court To Rule On Civic Group, SERAP’s Suit Against Nigerian Government Over Twitter Ban

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in a suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project against the Nigerian Government over its suspension of Twitter indefinitely in the country.

The court in a hearing notice fixed judgment for January 20, 2022 at 10:00am.

The Nigerian Government had in 2021 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 Adeyem,i citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The minister said the Nigerian Government had also directed the National Broadcasting Commission to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

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 a tweet 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.

Following the suspension, SERAP and 176 concerned Nigerians filed a suit before the ECOWAS court, challenging the Nigerian Government’s decision.

“The ECOWAS Court in Abuja has today issued a hearing notice to parties to confirm that the SERAP (and others) suit on the illegal Twitter ban has been fixed for judgment on the 20th day of January, 2022 at 10:00am,” SERAP said in a post on its Twitter page.






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