The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, alongside 176 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja, following the suspension of microblogging platform, Twitter.
The suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21 was filed on Tuesday by human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN.
SERAP also posits that 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 suit demands “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.”
A week ago, the government had suspended Twitter operations in the country citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence” as its reason.
The Buhari administration has however been seriously condemned for deliberately attempting to restrict citizens right of expression.
The international community including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, have also expressed displeasure over the federal government’s decision, but they have been unyielding in their stance and even insisted that the sovereignty of the Nigeria must be respected.