Twitter Ban: Court dismisses SERAP’s suit, awards N100k fine
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday has dismissed a suit filed by Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that the suspension of social media platform, Twitter, is a violation of freedom of expression.
The court also awarded an N100, 000 fine in favour of the respondents, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The judge held that the decision by the Federal Government to suspend social media platform, Twitter, did not amount to a violation of their rights to freedom of expression.
In a judgment yesterday, Justice Obiora Egwuatu also held that the ban on Twitter in Nigeria did not violate the constitutionally guaranteed press freedom.
The judge agreed with the respondents that the Federal Government reserves the power to control the nation’s cyber space and to insist that Twitter must meet all requirements to operate in Nigeria as a corporate entity.
The judgment was on a suit by SERAP, with the NBC, the Director General of NBC and the Minister of Information and Culture as defendants.
Justice Egwuatu also agreed with the respondents that in line with the Supreme Court’s decision in Dokubo Asari, human rights take the back stage where national security is threatened.
He averred that since Nigerians have other social media platforms to express themselves, and that talks were at advanced stage to resolve issues with the Nigerian government, the ban on Twitter cannot be said to have constrained Nigerians’ freedom.
The judge dismissed the suit and awarded N100,000 cost against SERAP and in favour of the respondents.