Court Fixes Date to Hear Nigerian Bar Association’s Suit Against Buhari Government On Twitter Ban

 October 4, 2021 has been fixed to hear a suit by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), challenging the legality of Nigeria Government’s suspension of the operations of micro-blogging and social media website, Twitter, by a Federal High Court in Lagos. 

The suit numbered FHC/L/CS/613/202 was filed by Incorporated Trustees of the NBA  on June 18, following the government’s June 4 threat to prosecute Nigerians who defy the directive by continuing to use Twitter.

The first to fourth defendants are President Muhammadu Buhari; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) respectively.

The NBA's 7-member legal team, led by Dr Charles Mekwunye, is seeking 11 reliefs, which include a declaration that the ban or suspension of the micro-blogging site is unlawful and a declaration that any prosecution of users of the site will be unconstitutional.

The body is also seeking a declaration that the ban affects the businesses, employments and economic activities of lawyers and Nigerians generally and an order mandating all mobile network and internet service providers to unblock the use of the micro-blogging and social media site.

A similar suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos was initiated by the Chairman of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA/SPIDEL), Monday Ubani. 

Similarly, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has dragged the Buhari government before the Federal High Court in Abuja and the ECOWAS Court of Justice.

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