By John Ikani
ECOWAS Court says it will deliver its judgement in a suit challenging the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria on January 20, 2022.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) made this known in a post via its Twitter handle on Wednesday.
The post reads: “Twitter ban: The ECOWAS Court of Justice, Abuja heard arguments today in our suit. The push for adjournment by the Federal Government was rejected by the court, following objections by SERAP lawyer, Femi Falana SAN. The case is fixed for judgment on 20th January 2022.”
The suit against the Federal Republic of Nigeria challenges the action of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime of banning Twitter’s operations in the country.
The ban took effect on June 4 after Information Minister, Lai Mohammed announced the indefinite suspension of the social media app, claiming it was being used to spread false information and “activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The ban, now 116 days in, has negatively affected Nigeria’s economic growth. A report in August said Nigeria lost over N150 billion as a result of the suspension of the app. Small and medium-sized businesses which relied on Twitter’s reach for marketing, also suffer from the effects of the ban, as business owners reduced or completely cut off their operations from the app.
A few days ago, SERAP urged the General Assembly of the United Nations to use its power to order President Buhari to lift the indefinite suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
The group asked the International body to speak for the fundamental rights of Nigerians noting that “the freedom to expression whether offline or online is a fundamental right” which should not be tampered with.