NBA Condemns Twitter Suspension By President Buhari, Says Is Contrary To Right To Freedom Of Speech


*Vows to challenge the suspension if not reversed

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has condemned the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari

NBA, in a statement through its President, Olumide Akpata, says the suspension is in violation of right to freedom of speech

The Association also frowned at the direction to the Nigerian Communications Commission to license social media operation in the country

“The Nigerian Bar Association Assoc has noted with great concern the extraordinary decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria 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 Federal Government also directed the Nigerian Communications Commission 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.” Akpata tweeted

Furthermore, NBA said Nigeria practices constitutional democracy so everything must be done in accordance with the law. It says there is no law that supports the suspension of Twitter by FG.

The Association vowed to challenge the suspension of same is not reverses. Akpata said, “Whether one likes it or not, we are operating a constitutional democracy, the primary consequence of which is that every thing must be done according to law; and government must be conducted within the framework of recognised rules and principles which restrict discretionary power.

“The Nigerian Bar Association finds no constitutional or legal authority to support the peremptory action of the Federal Government to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria and deprive Nigerians of their right to freely express their constitutionally guaranteed opinions. 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 Nigerian Bar Association will have no choice but to challenge same in the interest of the public and our democracy.”

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