Some Nigerian Lawyers have reacted to the statement released by the Attorney – General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN. In his statement, he threatened to prosecute any caught violator of the ban placed on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
You will recall that the said personality had regularly engaged the media over the months on topical issues.
The ban which was communicated through the office of the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, was said to be “indefinite,” it was later identified by the federal government as a temporary one after many Nigerians took to their social media pages to criticize it.
The crackdown on Twitter came two days after a particular post of the president, said to have contravened a standing rule of the social media platform, was pulled down by the media giant.
A few Nigerians have seen the crackdown on Twitter as a disregard to section 39 of the constitution, it was seen by many Nigerians as an attack on citizens’ rights and a step closer to the execution of the government’s years-long ambition to impose regulations on the social media space in the country.
Apart from the fact that there is a ban is the fact that a Virtual Private Network (VPN), has availed Nigerians the opportunity to explore Twitter these days. This, the Nigerian government got wind of and chose to stem with prosecution.
Malami, while reacting to the development as VPN, directed Mohammed Umar, the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute any erring individual caught flouting the rules.
A synergy among the DPPF, Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, Nigeria Communications Commission will eventually lead to the speedy prosecution of caught violators.
He was fired back at by some lawyers who saw no constitutional basis for the said development as prosecution, there is no legal backing for it.
A legal practitioner and human rights activist, Malcolm Omirhobo, said it was unfortunate that the attorney-general was unable to offer sound legal advice to President on the Twitter matter and other issues in the country.