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Twitter ban unlawful, ECOWAS Court rules

Twitter user jailed 45 years for challenging Saudi royals
File: Twitter

The ban of microblogging site, Twitter, by the Federal Government of Nigeria is “unlawful”, the court of the Economic Community of West African States has ruled.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had in June 2021, announced the “indefinite” suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.

According to the minister, the social media platform was engaging in activities that “undermine Nigeria’s existence”.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had subsequently ordered the prosecution of anyone who violated the ban.

On July 6, the court consolidated different suits instituted against the federal government for banning Twitter.

In the ruling on Thursday, the court held that the government’s ban on Twitter is unlawful, according to TheCable.

The consolidated suits are; Malcolm Omirhobo who approached the ECOWAS court of justice, in suit ECW/CCJ/APP/26/21, challenging the ban as a violation of his fundamental rights to freedom of expression, speech and association and those of the Nigerian public.

Other suits with a similar cause of action in the consolidated suit of ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21, ECW/CCJ/APP/24/21, and ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21

The registered trustees are the Social Economic Rights & Accountability Project and 12 others vs the federal republic of Nigeria.

However, the federal government on January 12, 2022, approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria after giving several conditions to the micro-blogging platform.

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