- A Federal High Court in Lagos has continued the hearing in a case filed by a human rights lawyer challenging the ban imposed on Twitter in Nigeria
- The attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, dismissed the claim that the suspension of Twitter is an abuse of human rights
- The government had on June 2021, suspended Twitter after accusing the social media site of threatening Nigeria’s existence
Lagos state - Emerging reports indicate that the Nigerian government may have dropped its threat to prosecute citizens who are still using Twitter despite the suspension of the platform in the country.
The federal government told the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, July 22, that it was aware that some Nigerians were still using the social media platform and that it had not stopped citizens from twitting.
PM News reported that the government made the disclosure through the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, in response to a case filed by human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, challenging the suspension of the social media site in Nigeria.
Effiong in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, pleaded with the court to order a perpetual injunction restraining the federal government from suspending or banning the operation and accessibility of Twitter in Nigeria because the act was in violation of his rights.
The lawyer also asked the court to declare as illegal the threat of criminal prosecution by the government against Nigerians who violate the suspension or ban of Twitter.
FG says Nigerians are free to use other social platforms
However, in response, the government told the court that the suspension of Twitter did not constitute a human rights violation because Nigerians are still free to use other social platforms, The Punch reported.
The government explained that the Twitter suspension would be lifted once the platform registers with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the corporate affairs commission.
Cost of Twitter ban in Nigeria rises to N58.78 billion
Meanwhile, the federal government doesn't seem ready to lift the ban placed on Twitter despite the financial implications on citizens.
According to calculations on the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST), it was gathered that daily, the country loses N2.17 billion daily.
The loss is spread across active users monetizing the microblogging platform, some of which are influencers, media organisations, artisans, amongst others.