ECOWAS court declares Twitter ban ‘unlawful and a violation of Nigerians’ rights’

The ECOWAS court has ruled that the federal government’s order to ban Twitter in June 2021 was illegal and a violation of Nigerians’ rights.

The court ruling on Thursday ruled that the federal government’s action was illegal and in violation of Article 9 of the African Charter and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Recall that the Nigerian government banned Twitter on June 5, 2021, after the platform deleted President Buhari’s tweets.

Court ruling

The charges were filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and involved 176 Nigerians.

The court ruled on the case on Thursday and declared itself competent to hear the case.

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“By suspending the activities of Twitter, the Buhari government is violating the rights of SERAP and 176 concerned Nigerians to enjoy freedom of expression, access to information and the media, as well as the right to a fair trial,” the court ruled.

The court has ordered the current government to ensure that the illegal ban on Twitter is never repeated.

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The court ordered the DPO to put forward policies that give effect to the rights and freedom of Nigerians.

The ECOWAS court ordered the Deputy Chief Registrar to determine the costs of the proceedings and ordered the federal government to bear the costs.

In case you missed it

Nairametrics had reported that an Abuja branch of the Federal Supreme Court had dismissed the SERAP charge against the federal government over its guidelines to broadcast in Nigeria to suspend the use of Twitter after it was banned for violating Nigerian laws . SERAP had filed a lawsuit to enforce fundamental rights against the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and two others following an order from the NBC, which ordered broadcasters in Nigeria to suspend the use of Twitter after it was banned for alleged violations. of Nigerian laws. In a lawsuit headed: FHC/ABJ/CS/496/21, filed by SERAP against NBC, NBC’s director general and the secretary of information and culture, among other things, requested NBC’s nullification of the directive. Judge Obiora Egwuatu, who ruled on the matter in December 2021, dismissed the lawsuit for lack of merit and awarded a N100,000 fee against SERAP.

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