The ECOWAS Court has stopped the Nigerian government from sanctioning or prosecuting Twitter users
The ruling followed the suit filed against the government by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja in a landmark ruling today “restrained the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and its agents from unlawfully imposing sanctions or doing anything whatsoever to harass, intimidate, arrest or prosecute Twitter and/or any other social media service provider(s), media houses, radio and television broadcast stations, the Plaintiffs and other Nigerians who are Twitter users, pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”
The ruling followed the suit filed against the government by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 176 concerned Nigerians arguing that “the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, criminalization of Nigerians and other people using Twitter have escalated repression of human rights and unlawfully restricted the rights of Nigerians and other people to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in the country.”
The court gave the order after hearing arguments from Solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana, and lawyer to the government Maimuna Shiru.
The court ruled that Any interference with Twitter is viewed as inference with human rights, and that will violate human rights.
Therefore, this court has jurisdiction to hear the case. The court also hereby orders that the application be heard expeditiously.