The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has dismissed reports that his office will be prosecuting Nigerians who tweet despite the ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria.
In a chat with Vanguard, Malami said his office will not be prosecuting Nigerians residing in or out the country who are making use of the microblogging site but will go after any company or entity that offers to help Twitter bypass the suspension of its operations in the country.
Two days ago, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adeboye, and the Senior Pastor of Deeper Life Church, Pastor Kumuyi, tweeted from their handles and many Nigerians had asked if the Minister would be carrying out his threat to prosecute Twitter defaulters, on the respected clergymen.
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Reacting during the interview, Malami said;
“It is within their guaranteed fundamental right to tweet from anywhere in the world. Nigeria, being a democratic nation, cannot stop its citizens from exercising their rights of freedom of expression. But our position on Twitter is clear: Anyone, whether individual or corporate institution that enables Twitter to circumvent the ban the Federal Government of Nigeria placed on the company, will be prosecuted.
Our statement outlining our position on June 1, 2021 did not ask the DPP to prosecute Nigerians using Twitter or any social media platform to express their view. But we are going to use the legal instruments at our disposal to go after those who aid and abet Twitter to continue to threaten our corporate existence as a nation.
It is clear from the barrage of insinuations and falsehood being orchestrated by some Nigerians and those trying to change the clear position of the Government of Nigeria to suit their whims and caprices and to whip up sentiments to hoodwink the people, that they are up to some mischievous and sinister games, which the Federal Government will not condone.
At no time did we threaten any religious leader for using Twitter to express themselves. Neither did we indicate in any way that we were going after them. But mischief-makers were quick to mention names of religious leaders and give the impression that we were already in court to try them.
Let it be made clear that the Buhari administration being a people-centred government that relies on the rule of law, will never adopt any policy or programme that seeks to add pain or injury to the very people who elected it to serve them.
For the record, let it be made amply clear that the AGF, Abubakar Malami, is not after any Nigerian, tweeting from Nigeria or anywhere in the world but that any Nigerian company or entity that gives a helping hand for Twitter to escape the ban placed on it, will be dealt with,” Malami said