Transparency and Integrity


TWITTER BAN: NBA Presages Legal Action, Says Buhari’s Move Not Constitutionally Backed


A photo of NBA chair Olumide Akpata a gavel and Buhari used for illustration. 

Nigerian Bar Association Condemns Ban Of Twitter In Nigeria By FG, Presages Legal Action. 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the actions of of the federal government suspending the operation of Twitter in Nigeria and has further Presaged Legal action. 

MediaOrchid recalls that President Buhari recently threatened genocide on Igbos in Nigeria which led to Twitter deleting his tweets and also further deleted a video of Buhari threatening war on people of the South East region. 

The presidency embarrassed and nor being able to curtail it, slammed a ban on Twitter in Nigeria. 

The NBA as an important part of the Judiciary has been up to its task in criticism of not only this action by the FG but also other actions that are unconstitutional and has further threatened to take legal actions which is in the interest of the public and as demanded by democracy which Nigeria is supposed to practice. 

Olumide Akpata, the President of NBA, pointed out that ' Nigeria is operating a democratic system of government which implies that every action of the government must be backed by the law.' He further stipulated in his tweets after hearing of the ban that the action taken by federal government is not constitutionally backed and referred to it as a “dent on our constitutional democracy” and would have an adverse effect on Nigeria' s economy as it could deter the confidence of foreign investors . 

“ The @NigBarAssoc 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 FGN also directed the @NgComCommission to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria, which is, at best, yet another disguised attempt to regulate social media, restrict freedom of speech and shrink civic space.

“ Whether one likes it or not, we are operating a constitutional democracy, the primary consequence of which is that everything must be done according to law; government must be conducted within the framework of recognised rules and principles which restrict discretionary power.

“ The @NigBarAssoc 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 @NigBarAssoc will have no choice but to challenge same in the interest of the public and for the sake of our democracy,” he said.

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