Twitter Ban: NBA Sues Federal Government

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The Nigerian Bar Association has sued the Federal Government for banning the microblogging platform, Twitter.

Recall that the Association had in an earlier statement issued at the wake of the twitter ban threatened to  challenge the ban if  the Federal Government does not reverse its decision.

The National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, Rapulu Nduka, said this in a telephone interview, with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, the matter came up for mention before Justice Faji of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday.

“We have served the processes and the case was adjourned till July 23, 2021,” he said.

In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/613/2021, the Incorporated Trustees of the NBA brought the action against the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and the Nigerian Communications Commission as first to fourth defendants, respectively.

Also coming up on the 23rd of July for hearing before Justice Faji is the suit instituted by human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, against the Twitter suspension.

In the originating motion marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, Effiong is seeking nine reliefs, including an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Government and its agents from further suspending, deactivating or banning the operation and accessibility of Twitter or any other social media service in Nigeria.

Similarly, the Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States has fixed July 9, to decide on the consolidation of all applications before it on the Twitter ban by the Federal Government.

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The ECOWAS Court stated this in a virtual sitting held via Zoom on Tuesday.

On the cause list for the day were two applications against the Federal Government over the Twitter ban.

One was the application brought by the Registered Trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project against the Federal Government marked ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21.

The other was the application brought by the Media Rights Agenda and eight others against the Federal Government on the same issue marked ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21.

The lawyer representing the Federal Government, Abdullahi Abubakar, informed the court that he had a motion to consolidate all the four applications.

In his motion on notice dated July, 5, 2021, Abubakar prayed for the leave of the court to consolidate the hearing of the applications and others that the court might deem fit in the circumstance.

Counsel for SERAP, Femi Falana, SAN, did not object to the application.

Culled: The Punch

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