Civil society organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 176 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja over the government’s suspension of micro blogging platform, Twitter.
The suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21 was filed on Tuesday by Solicitor to SERAP and human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN.
SERAP also argued the “suspension of Twitter is aimed at intimidating and stopping Nigerians from using Twitter and other social media platforms to assess government policies, expose corruption, and criticize acts of official impunity by the agents of the Federal Government.”
In the suit, SERAP and the concerned Nigerians sought, “An order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing its suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, and subjecting anyone including media houses, broadcast stations using Twitter in Nigeria, to harassment, intimidation, arrest and criminal prosecution, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The Plaintiffs also contended that “if this application is not urgently granted, the Federal Government will continue to arbitrarily suspend Twitter and threaten to impose criminal and other sanctions on Nigerians, telecommunication companies, media houses, broadcast stations and other people using Twitter in Nigeria, the perpetual order sought in this suit might be rendered nugatory.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had suspended Twitter operations citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.