Challenging news of the day as a Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed October 4 to hear a suit by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) challenging the legality of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s decision to suspend the operations of Twitter. The suit, numbered FHC/L/CS/613/202, was filed on June 18 by The Incorporated Trustees of the NBA, following the federal government’s threat on June 4 to prosecute Nigerians who defy the directive by proceeding to use Twitter.
First to fourth defendants are President Muhammadu Buhari; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The NBA is seeking 11 reliefs via its 7-member legal team led by Charles Mekwunye. The reliefs include a declaration that the ban or suspension of the microblogging site is unlawful and a declaration that any prosecution of users of the site will be unconstitutional, among others.
The association is also seeking a declaration revealing that the ban affects the businesses, employments and economic activities of lawyers and Nigerians generally and subsequently an order mandating all mobile network and internet service providers to give access to the use of Twitter. Recall that the Federal Government told the Federal High Court in Lagos last Friday that it had not stopped Nigerians from using Twitter.