The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the decision of the federal government to ban the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government on Friday suspended, indefinitely, the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement signed by his media aide Segun Adeyemi.
The minister cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
He also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
Reacting to the ban in a statement on Friday, NBA President, Olumide Akpata, said that the action of the federal government has no constitutional backing.
Akpata threatened a lawsuit against the federal government of Nigeria over the decision to suspend Twitter’s operations in the country.
The NBA president added that the suspension expressly negates the rights of Nigerians to free speech through the platform.
He noted that the ban will have a devastating economic impact on the country and further dent investors’ confidence in coming to Nigeria.
He said, “The Nigerian Bar Association has noted with great concern the extraordinary decision of the Federal Govt to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria and, by necessary implication, the right of Nigerians to freely express their constitutionally guaranteed opinions through that medium.
“The NBA finds no constitutional or legal authority to support the peremptory action of the Federal Government to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
“Beyond the dent on our constitutional democracy, at a time when the Nigerian economy is unarguably struggling, the impact of arbitrary decisions such as this on investor confidence is better imagined.
“Consequently, if this decision is not immediately reversed, the NBA will have no choice but to challenge same in the interest of the public and for the sake of our democracy.”