The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Communications Commission over the ban placed on Twitter in the country. According to the NBA in a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, “the actions and directives of the respondents gravely infringed the fundamental rights of the applicant (NBA).” This was announced in a statement by the association’s Publicity Secretary, Raps Nduka on Tuesday. According to Mr. Nduka, the NBA filed a lawsuit on June 18, but the hearing has been adjourned till October 4th.
The association further stated that the President and others involved “unilaterally, without due process and contrary to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the applicant, suspended the operations of the microblogging and social media website “Twitter” in the Nigerian cyberspace”.
According to Charles Mekwunye, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria leading the association’s legal team, “It is also unlawful and unconstitutional for the 2nd respondent (AGF) to threaten the arrest and prosecution of the applicant and other Nigerians and entities found using the microblogging and social media website of Twitter, pursuant to an offence unknown to any written law in Nigeria.
The actions and directives of the respondents gravely infringed the fundamental rights of the applicant and they are not in any way protected by law,” according to the court document.
Recall that the federal government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on June 4, 2021, placed an indefinite ban on Twitter following the deletion of one of the President’s tweets for violating the rules of the micro-blogging platform.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice also ordered the prosecution of Nigerians still on Twitter following the suspension of the social networking platform, although he did not state the law they are violating by being on Twitter.
Some Nigerians now use Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access their Twitter accounts following the indefinite ban by the federal government.