Nigerian Bar Association has threatened to drag the Federal Government to court following its decision to suspend Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.
Federal Government had on Friday suspended Twitter’s operations indefinitely, after accusing the micro-blogging site of “undermining Nigeria’s existence”.
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had in a statement said the government was forced to act because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
NBA President Olumide Apata in a statement made via the social media platform, said the government lacked constitutional authority to back its decision.
Apata described the government’s action as a “disguised attempt to regulate social media, restrict freedom of speech and shrink civic space”.
The NBA President said the government has also “suspended the right of Nigerians to freely express their constitutionally guaranteed opinions” through Twitter.
He said if the decision is not reversed, the NBA will sue the government to protect the country’s democracy.
The NBA President, “Whether one likes it or not, we are operating a constitutional democracy, the primary consequence of which is that everything must be done according to law; government must be conducted within the framework of recognised rules and principles which restrict discretionary power.
“The NBA finds no constitutional or legal authority to support the peremptory action of the federal government to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
“Beyond the dent on our constitutional democracy, at a time when the Nigerian economy is unarguably struggling, the impact of arbitrary decisions such as this on investor confidence is better imagined.
“Consequently, if this decision is not immediately reversed, the NBA will have no choice but to challenge same in the interest of the public and for the sake of our democracy.”