SERAP sues Buhari, Mohammed over failure to publish agreement with Twitter

• Minister says FG’s negotiation with Twitter makes Nigeria a global trail-blazer
• HURIWA condemns humiliation of Ortom at NAF Base
• Says being member of opposition should not warrant victimisation
• ICPC warns against substandard work on FRCN co-operative housing estate

The civil rights and non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sued President Muhammadu Buhari for failure to publish copy of the agreement between the Federal Government and Twitter, Inc.

The organisation also joined the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, as a respondent in the suit.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit. This was revealed in a statement made available to journalists yesterday.

In the suit, FHC/L/CS/238/2022, filed by Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi at the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Friday, SERAP asked the court to compel Buhari and Mohammed to make the terms and conditions of such agreement public.

The lawyers said that publishing the agreement would enable Nigerians scrutinise it, seek legal remedies as appropriate, and ensure that the conditions for lifting the suspension of Twitter are not used as pretexts to suppress legitimate discourse.

They also stated that publishing the agreement with Twitter would promote transparency, accountability, and help to mitigate threats to Nigerians’ rights online, as well as any interference with online privacy and freedom of expression.

SERAP is also seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel Buhari and Mohammed to clarify the manner and scope in which the agreement with Twitter will be enforced, and whether the agreement incorporates respect for constitutional and international human rights.

MEANWHILE, Mohammed has said that Federal Government’s successful negotiation with Twitter to ensure a responsible use of that platform, which will also apply to other social media platforms, has made Nigeria a global trail-blazer in efforts to prevent harmful content from social media platforms.

He noted that every country goes the extra mile to protect and preserve itself, adding that this explains why the Federal Government has continued to insist on the regulation of social media to ensure responsible content.

Mohammed, who spoke with journalists in his home town in Kwara State on the Canada Truckers Protest vs #EndSARS, also noted that Twitter actively supported the protesters and even helped them to raise fund while GoFundMe was used to raise funds for the protests.

RELATEDLY, a leading civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the humiliation of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, at the weekend, by overzealous airmen of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Makurdi, the state capital.

The governor had said that he was denied entry into the NAF Base where he wanted to receive Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was transiting the state despite a letter from the Presidency inviting him for the purpose.

In a statement, National Co-ordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said barring an elected state governor and chief security officer of a state from the NAF Base is an affront to the principle of democracy.

IN another development, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has warned the developer and promoters of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Multipurpose Co-operative Housing Estate not to engage in substandard work.

Owasanoye, who gave the charge during the official ground-breaking ceremony of the Estate in Wurna District, Gwagwalada, warned that the commission would not hesitate to prosecute anyone involved in corruption in the execution of the project.

The chairman, who was represented at the ceremony by the President of the ICPC Multipurpose Co-operative Society, Joshua Wakili, lauded the efforts of the executives of the FRCN co-operative society for coming up with a project that will help bridge the national housing deficit.


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