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Twitter Ban: Lai Mohammed, NBC Sued Over Directive To Braodcast Stations

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja against the federal government over its directive to all television and radio stations not to use Twitter.

It is asking the court to stop the federal government and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed from using the alleged unlawful directive to all TV and radio stations not to use Twitter.

The suit followed the order by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) asking TV and radio stations to “suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately”, and telling them to delete ‘unpatriotic’ Twitter after the social media giant was banned in the country for deleting President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet.

In the suit filed on Friday, SERAP is seeking; “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Lai Mohammed and any other persons from censoring, regulating, licensing and controlling the social media operations and contents by broadcast stations, and activities of social media service providers in Nigeria.”

It is also seeking; “an order setting aside the directive by NBC and Lai Mohammed asking broadcast stations to stop using Twitter, as it is unconstitutional, unlawful, inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and the country’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

SERAP noted that: “The government of President Buhari, the NBC and Lai Mohammed have consistently made policies and given directives to crack down on media freedom, and the rights of Nigerians to freedom of expression and access to information, and to impose crippling fines and other sanctions on broadcast stations without any legal basis whatsoever.”

According to SERAP: “The court has an important role to play in the protection and preservation of the rule of law to ensure that persons and institutions operate within the defined ambit of constitutional and statutory limitations.

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