SERAP Threatens Lawsuit, Asks Buhari to Rescind Twitter Ban in Nigeria

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project group, SERAP, has criticized the “illegal and unconstitutional suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria,” and called on “the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately rescind the suspension within 48 hours or face legal action.”

The Nigerian Government had earlier announced an indefinite suspension of the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria. This was announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Adeyemi.

SERAP’s Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare said “…the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria is a blatant violation of the right of Nigerians’ to freedom of expression and access to information.

The suspension has the character of collective punishment and is contrary to Nigeria’s international obligations. President Buhari must immediately rescind this unconstitutional suspension. We will see in court if the suspension is not rescinded within 48 hours.”

He went on to add that the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria would deny Nigerians access to information, and disrupt the free exchange of ideas and the ability of individuals to connect with one another and associate peacefully on matters of shared concern. It would also seriously undermine the ability of Nigerians to promote transparency and accountability in the country, and to participate in their own government.

Kolawole called on the authorities to guarantee the constitutionally and internationally recognized human rights of Nigerians including online.

“… Deleting President Buhari’s tweets should never be used as a pretext to suppress the civic space and undermine Nigerians’ fundamental human rights,” he concluded.

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