*Summon Lai over Twitter suspension
The House of Representatives has passed decided to investigate decision of the Federal Government to ban operations of twitter in Nigeria.
It said it will also consider the legal frame works upon which the Federal Government made the decision.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila disclosed these while addressing his colleagues on resumption of plenary after two weeks of break.
The Speaker said the relevant House Committees of Communication, Justice and Legal Matters, as well as Information, are to submit a report within 10 days to enable the House take an informed decision on the ban.
Gbajabiamila said while twitter has been an important means of communication and business for younger generation of Nigerians, the government has a responsibility to ensure it is not used to undermine national security.
The investigation is to determine whether due process was followed in making the decision.
“The House of Representatives recognises that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important tool for communication and commerce in Nigeria, particularly amongst the younger generation who have used these networks for enterprise and innovation with great success,” he said.
“It is in service of our obligations under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our moral duty to the Nigerian people, that the leadership of the House has decided to mandate the House Committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to immediately commence an investigation to determine the circumstances of the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
“The Committees are additionally mandated to invite the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to brief the House of Representatives on the objectives, intent, and duration of the suspension on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and to report to the House within ten days.”
Gbajabiamila said the report of the committee will guide “further action by the house of representatives” on the suspension of the social media platform.
“Therefore, I urge the committees to act with speed and sound judgment to address this issue that has animated our national conversations over the last few days,” he said.
(Cambridge University Press, January, 2021) By Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN, FCIArb, Professor of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti
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