- Some of President Buhari's top government officials have been dragged to court by Inibehe Effiong, a rights lawyer
- The concerned officials, Lai Mohammed and Malami were sued over the recent Twitter suspension by the FG
- Also, Effiong asked the court to declare that the threat to prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter during the ban is illegal
The legal battle over the federal government's suspension of Twitter has commenced earnestly. This comes as a human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, sued two principal officers in the current administration.
Specifically, Inibehe sued the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the federal government, Punch Newspaper reports.
In the originating motion marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, Effiong is seeking nine reliefs including an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further suspending, deactivating or banning the operation and accessibility of Twitter or any other social media service in Nigeria.
The threat to prosecute Nigerians is another relief the lawyer is seeking according to the post on his Facebook page.
He asked the court to declare as illegal the threat of criminal prosecution issued by Malami despite the absence of any written law.
Going further, he claimed that as a public affairs commentator, he uses Twitter to express his views on the failure, inadequacies and performance of the government at all level, including the federal government of Nigeria and its agencies.
Nigerians react on Facebook:
Falodun Samson Lincoln wrote:
"You took a government that doesn’t have any iota of respect for rule of law to court. In as much as it’s a welcome development, the judgement of the court if it goes in your favor won’t be respected."
Noble Effe also wrote:
"Good move. Even if the president doesn't obey court order, let it be on record that he was taking to court and won that he doesn't obey Court order."
Chinedu Osuji said:
"You can imagine taking the government to court over the suspension of a nuisance virtual foreign private business that is neither legally registered to operate in Nigeria nor pays taxes to the coffers."
PDP governors call for reversal
State governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have faulted the Muhammadu Buhari administration over its decision to indefinitely suspend Twitter in Nigeria.
The governors in a communique issued after a meeting on Monday, June 14, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, gave reasons why the ban should be lifted.
They said the ban on Twitter will worsen the country’s unemployment crisis, noting that it would hurt Nigerian youth who do not have adequate access to employment and have been relying on Twitter to earn a legitimate income.
Ismaeel Ahmed justifies the ban on Twitter
In another news, one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aides, Ismaeel Ahmed, says he is not happy that he cannot tweet following the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.
The senior special assistant to the president on the national social investment program made the statement when asked how he personally felt about the development as a youth.
He, however, justified the suspension of the social media site.