By John Ikani
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, as well as National Security and Intelligence to begin an investigation into the suspension placed on Twitter by the Federal Government.
It has also summoned the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed over the suspension of Twitter.
During plenary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila said the committees have been tasked with determining “the circumstances of the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.”
Gbajabiamila added that the committees should Invite the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to brief the House on the objectives, intent, and duration of the suspension on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
“It is in service of our obligations under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our moral duty to the Nigerian people” to investigate why the ban was issued,” he said.
Gbajabiamila, in his opening address noted that the micro-blogging platform had become a huge communication tool and platform for enterprise especially for the teeming youth in the country.
According to him: “The House of Representatives recognises that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important tool for communication and commerce in Nigeria, particularly amongst the younger generation who have used these networks for enterprise and innovation with great success.
“The committees are additionally mandated to invite the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to brief the House of Representatives on the objectives, intent, and duration of the suspension on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and to report to the House within ten days.”
He added that the committees should also investigate the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in the country.
Recall that the Nigerian Government recently banned Twitter and its operations in Nigeria. The ban has been widely condemned as a suppression of free speech in Nigeria and a contravention of section 39 (1) of the nation’s constitution and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.