Nigerian government seeks to consolidate #TwitterBan lawsuits before ECOWAS Court


The ECOWAS Court of Justice has set Friday July 9 for the hearing of the Nigerian government’s request to consolidate the four lawsuits relating to the ban on Twitter in the country.

Nigerian government attorney Abdullahi Abubakar filed the petition on July 5, a court press service statement said on Wednesday.

The statement said the court had to adjourn the hearing of the application because two of the four parties suing the federal government over the Twitter ban were not represented in court during Wednesday’s proceedings.

Only the Socio-economic rights and responsibility project (SERAP), on the one hand, and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and eight others, on the other hand, were represented by their lawyers.

Counsel did not object to the Respondent’s request to consolidate the four pending lawsuits.

“However, the court observed that only two of the parties were represented in court and adjourned the case until July 9, 2021, for all parties, including representatives of parties absent from the proceedings, to comment on the request. junction, ”he added. statement added.

Background

PREMIUM TIME reported how the court issued an interim order on 22 June 2021 directing the Nigerian government and its agents to “refrain from imposing sanctions on any media or harassing, intimidating, arresting and prosecuting the claimants, Nigerians concerned for the use of Twitter and other social media platforms ”, pending the decision of the prosecution on the merits challenging the ban.

The decision was rendered on the application filed by SERAP.

READ ALSO : #TwitterBan: What the Nigerian government told the ECOWAS Court on human rights and violations

SERAP and its co-plaintiffs are challenging the government’s decision to suspend access to Twitter in Nigeria on the grounds that it violated their rights to free speech and press freedom, among others.

They urged the court to declare the suspension a continuing violation of their rights.

The lawsuit is heard by a three-member panel made up of judges Gberi-Be Ouattara, Keikura Bangura and Januaria Costa.

On June 4, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration banned Twitter in Nigeria, two days after the microblogging site deleted a controversial tweet from it.



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