Twitter Ban: ECOWAS Court Forbids Nigerian Government From Imposing Sanctions On Users

The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Court sitting in Abuja has given an order restraining the Nigerian authorities from imposing sanctions or harassing, intimidating, arresting, or prosecuting Twitter or its customers within the nation.

SaharaReporters obtained the court docket ruling dated June 22, 2021, through which the injunction prevents the federal government from finishing up these actions towards different social media platforms, media homes, radio, and tv broadcast stations. 

Twitter Ban: ECOWAS Court Forbids Nigerian Government From Imposing Sanctions On Users 2

The order of the ECOWAS court docket stands on Nigeria pending the willpower of the case.

The court docket gave the order with Ruling Number ECW/CCJ/RUL/03/21 within the swimsuit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 176 involved Nigerians towards the Federal Government over the suspension of Twitter within the nation.

After listening to arguments for and towards the matter, the Court determined that it was cloaked with jurisdiction. 

As a swimsuit bordering on the infringement of human rights, the Court decided that it had the best to listen to the case.

The Nigerian authorities had suspended the microblogging website earlier within the month after it deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, which talked about that there can be civil war-like penalties for these drumming secession for the nation. 

Subsequently, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had ordered the prosecution of anybody discovered utilizing the platform.

This was met with various ranges of criticism which ultimately led to the swimsuit filed by SERAP. 

SERAP has additionally filed a declare towards the federal government within the Federal High Court on the identical matter. 

SERAP’s swimsuit is one within the string of instances filed or threatened to be filed towards the Nigerian authorities on this problem.

In the swimsuit filed earlier than the ECOWAS Court, SERAP was represented by human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, in addition to Oluwadare Kolawole and Opeyemi Owolabi. 

SERAP was the applicant whereas the Federal Republic of Nigeria was the respondent. The case was heard earlier than Justice Gberi-Be Ouattara, Justice Keikura Bangura, and Justice Januaria Moreira Costa. 

The court docket ruling obtained by SaharaReporters partly reads, “The court having considered all the submissions made by the parties therein, is convinced that the granting the Applicant’s prayer to lift the suspension under the conditions stated will amount to chasing the wind. The court, therefore, declines to order the respondents and their agents to lift the dispersion on Twitter. 

“For the explanations said above, the court docket sitting in public after listening to each events; one, declare that it has jurisdiction to listen to and decide the applying; two, dismisses the preliminary objection of the respondent on each grounds.

“Three; orders that the application be heard expeditiously; four, orders the respondent and its agents to refrain from imposing sanctions on any media house or harassing, intimidating, arresting or prosecuting the applicant or concerned Nigerians for the use of Twitter and other social media platforms, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.” 

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Twitter Ban: ECOWAS Court Forbids Nigerian Government From Imposing Sanctions On Users

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