BREAKING: ECOWAS court blocks Buhari, FG from arresting Nigerians over Twitter Use
The ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja in a landmark ruling today “restrained the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and its agents from unlawfully imposing sanctions or doing anything whatsoever to harass, intimidate, arrest or prosecute Twitter and/or any other social media service provider(s), media houses, radio and television broadcast stations, the Plaintiffs and other Nigerians who are Twitter users, pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”
The ruling followed the suit filed against the government by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 176 concerned Nigerians arguing that “the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, criminalization of Nigerians and other people using Twitter have escalated repression of human rights and unlawfully restricted the rights of Nigerians and other people to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in the country.”
The court gave the order after hearing arguments from Solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana SAN, and lawyer to the government Maimuna Shiru.
The court said: “The court has listened very well to the objection by Nigeria. The court has this to say. Any interference with Twitter is viewed as inference with human rights, and that will violate human rights. Therefore, this court has jurisdiction to hear the case. The court also hereby orders that the application be heard expeditiously. The Nigerian government must take immediate steps to implement the order.”
Video of NCDC officials carrying Abba Kyari’s Coffin for Burial Emerges
This development was disclosed today by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
Reacting to the ruling, Femi Falana, SAN said: “The intervention of the ECOWAS Court is a timely relief for millions of Nigerians using Twitter who have been threatened with prosecution under the provision of the Penal Code relating to sedition.”
“Contrary to the assurance credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN that violators of the Twitter would not be prosecuted, the Federal Government filed processes in the ECOWAS Court threatening to prosecute Nigerians using Twitter for violating the suspension under the provisions of the Penal Code relating to sedition.”
“It is extremely embarrassing that the Federal Government could threaten to jail Nigerians for sedition, which was annulled by the Court of Appeal in 1983, in the case of Arthur Nwankwo vs The State.”
The suit and the ruling followed the suspension of Twitter by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed after the social media giant was banned in the country for deleting President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet. The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) also ordered TV and radio stations to “suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately”, and told them to delete ‘unpatriotic’ Twitter.
The substantive suit has been adjourned to 6th July 2021 for hearing of the substantive suit.
Source: Politics Nigeria
APC UK begs Sunday Igboho to shelve Lagos rally
The All Progressives Congress (APC), UK Chapter, has urged Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho, to shelve a rally in Lagos State, billed for July 3. Igboho, real name Sunday Adeyemo, has vowed to go ahead with the planned “Yoruba Nation” rally, scheduled for Ojota Park in Lagos.
Ighoho who said he had held similar peaceful rallies in Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, said nobody could stop the agitators from storming Lagos. Chairman of APC UK, Dr Phillip Idaewor, in a statement on Tuesday, said there were other ways for the group to channel their agitations rather than engage in a rally that might be hijacked by hoodlums to unleash terror on Lagos residents.
“We are not opposed to the ideas of making Nigeria work better for the many and not the few. Indeed our party promised restructuring of Nigeria in our manifesto and it is our view that this remains the best course of action to reclaim the narrative from citizens who now feel alienated both from the government and country.
“Considering the state of insecurity that the government is battling across the country, we feel that the rally is ill-timed. No doubt, people have rights all over the world to peaceful protests but the situation in the country is such that all efforts must be geared to stop any gathering or association that may further worsen the security situation in the country.
“Lagos as the commercial nerve centre in Nigeria needs to be protected from the possibility of any planned protests which can be hijacked to cause destruction of businesses and state infrastructure. Lagos is home to Nigerians of all tribes across the country.
“We urge Yoruba youths and supporters of Ighoho to encourage him to pull back on this mission as it may lead to loss of lives and destruction of property. Our main concern is about our Lagos.
“So far, Lagos has been peaceful and the peaceful coexistence amongst Nigerians in the state must be preserved no matter what it takes,” he said.
Idaewor urged leaders of thought and Yoruba elders to continue to engage with the leadership of Yoruba youths, including Igboho to ensure that he did not lead innocent youths on any unnecessary project of destruction.
“We believe in one Nigeria and we must not allow those calling for its breakup to tear us apart irrespective of challenges currently faced by the nation,” he said.
He said that a politically just and equitable Nigerian state would be an asset to Nigerians and the black race.
“This is the historical beckoning to Nigerians to keep working hard towards a united country.
“As diaspora Nigerians we know from the experience of mixing with people from around the world, that Africa more than ever before, needs Nigeria to become a strong, stable and prosperous country.
“We, therefore, continue to encourage dialogue between the government and the people to identify and resolve our country’s intractable political problems,” he added.
Source: PM News