Twitter Ban: Finally, Malami Deactivates Account

Twitter Ban: Finally, Malami Deactivates Account

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has deactivated his account.

Sharing a screenshot of his deactivated account on Facebook, Malami restated his stand on the ban of the micro-blogging site.

He wrote, “My Twitter Account Deactivated”.

Malami ordered the prosecution of Nigerians defying the federal government’s ban on Twitter by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Naija News earlier reported that the Federal Government banned the use of Twitter in the country for what it described as “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the nation’s corporate existence”.

In a statement on Friday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in the country.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) alongside 176 concerned Nigerians have dragged the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to court over the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

In the suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21 filed on Tuesday before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja, SERAP and the concerned Nigerians are also suing the Buhari govt for the criminalization of Nigerians and other people using Twitter, and the “escalating repression of human rights, particularly the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in the country.”

The groups asked the court to order an “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 suit filed by Femi Falana read in part: “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.

“The free communication of information and ideas about public and political issues between citizens and elected representatives is essential. This implies a free press and other media able to comment on public issues without censor or restraints, and to inform public opinion. The public also has a corresponding right to receive media output.

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and the full enjoyment of this right is central to achieving individual freedom and to developing democracy. It is not only the cornerstone of democracy, but indispensable to a thriving civil society.

“The arbitrary action by the Federal Government and its agents have negatively impacted millions of Nigerians who carry on their daily businesses and operational activities on Twitter. The suspension has also impeded the freedom of expression of millions of Nigerians, who criticize and influence government policies through the microblogging app.”

“The suspension of Twitter is arbitrary, and there is no law in Nigeria today permitting the prosecution of people simply for peacefully exercising their human rights through Twitter and other social media platforms.

“The suspension and threat of prosecution by the Federal Government constitute a fundamental breach of the country’s international human rights obligations including under Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.

“The suspension has seriously undermined the ability of Nigerians and other people in the country to freely express themselves in a democracy, and undermined the ability of journalists, media houses, broadcast stations, and other people to freely carry out their professional duties.”

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