Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged a Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the directive issued by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to broadcast stations to stop using Twitter.
SERAP, in the suit which is yet to be assigned to a judge, also wants the court to declared that the directive by NBC is unlawful, and amounts to a breach of the principles of legality and no punishment without law, and violation of the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom guaranteed under sections 39 and 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 [as amended], Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Apart from NBC other defendants in the suit are the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.
The group also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Mr. Lai Mohammed and any other persons from censoring, regulating, licensing and controlling the social media operations and contents by broadcast stations, and activities of social media service providers in Nigeria.
The plaintiff argued in the suit that the directive is a pretext to harass, intimidate, suspend or impose criminal punishment on journalists and broadcast stations simply for using social media platforms.