HURIWA reacts as ECOWAS court stops Buhari from prosecuting Twitter ban defaulters


The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has reacted to the decision of the Court of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS COURT) stopping President Muhammadu Buhari from prosecuting defaulters of the ban placed on the microblogging platform, Twitter.

Recall that the Federal Government had recently suspended operation of the medium in Nigeria owing to allegations that it allows for contents capable of threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.

Despite the ban, some Nigerians have continued to access the medium via the use of Private Virtual Network, VPN.

Reacting to the violation of order, the Federal Government had vowed to prosecute the defaulters, including prominent Nigerians who dared the government.

But the ECOWAS Court on Tuesday delivered a ruling which restrained President Muhammadu Buhari administration from arresting or prosecuting Nigerians using Twitter.

Reacting to the judgement, HURIWA urged Buhari to respect the ECOWAS ruling and back down on plans to take further steps towards prosecuting Nigerians.

This was contained in a statement issued by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf.

According to the statement, “We have always known that President Buhari acted ultra vires the law of Nigeria and especially the well grounded fundamental right provision of the Constitution when he arbitrarily banned the use of the social media platform of Twitter by over 40 million Nigerians following the decision of Twitter to delete his post deemed inimical to the rules of the online platform.

“President Buhari must obey the decision of the ECOWAS Court particularly when the current ruling on Twitter vitiated and invalidated his government’s draconian and military styled attack against the Constitutionally guaranteed human Rights clearly spelt out in chapter four of the constitution of the Federal Republic of 1999 especially section 39 (1) and 40.”

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