ECOWAS Court To Hear Case On Nigeria’s Twitter Ban Sept. 29

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Once Twitter submits to local licencing, registration and conditions stipulated by the Nigerian government, the suspension imposed on the social media colossus by the country will end.

The Federal Government made the disclosure recently, rejecting criticism the ban had stifled freedom of expression.
Nigerians awaiting Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court verdict on the legality of the June 5 Twitter ban imposed by the Nigerian government will have to wait much longer.

The Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS, before which are four cases challenging the ban has adjourned till September 29, 2021, for a hearing to enable all parties organise themselves for trial.

The court at a Zoom sitting on Friday also merged all the four cases brought before it.

This was after Abdullahi Abubakar, the lawyer representing the Federal Government, informed the court of his motion to consolidate all the four applications.

The cases are ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21, ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21, ECW/CCJ/APP/24/21, and ECW/ CCJ/ APP/26 /21.

Two of the cases were filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), and 196 others, Media Rights Agency and eight others.

Patrick Elohor and Malcolm Omirhobo also challenged the ban individually.

All the applicants said the whimsical suspension of the microblogging platform violated their rights.

In one of the suits No ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21 filed by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SERAP and 176 other Nigerians sued Buhari for criminalisation of Nigerians and other people using Twitter and for escalating repression of human rights, particularly the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in the country.

The suit also seeks an order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing its suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

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