Twitter ban: ECOWAS court serves Buhari hearing notice

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been served a hearing notice by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice over a suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) challenging the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

This was confirmed by SERAP in a statement it issued on Monday.

According to the nonprofit legal and advocacy organisation, the suit is fixed for 22 June 2021 for the hearing of the application for interim orders.

The statement reads, “The ECOWAS Court has issued and served hearing notice on the Nigerian government in the suit by SERAP and 176 concerned Nigerians on the unlawful suspension of Twitter.

“The suit is fixed for 22 June 2021 for the hearing of the application for interim orders.

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“Having been duly served, President Buhari should immediately rescind the suspension of Twitter, pending the hearing of the application, for the sake of the integrity and sanctity of the court, the rule of law, and Nigeria’s leadership role in the ECOWAS sub-region.”

SERAP had on June 9, 2021, filed a suit challenging the ban on Twitter by the Buhari administration.

The Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government on Friday, June 4, 2021, announced that it has suspended the operations of microblogging and social networking platform, Twitter in the country after it accused the American tech giant of meddling in the affairs of the nation.

The suspension was not taken lightly by Nigerians who took to social media and other mediums to express their anger and lambast the Nigerian government, with many accusing President Buhari of taking the country back to the military era with his dictatorial pronouncements.

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The federal government later claimed that the suspension was temporal, saying that is not against the use of social media but wants to see it used for global good and responsible communications. Twitter remains suspended in Nigeria.

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