The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has declared the Nigeria Twitter ban unlawful and has warned against another occurrence.
Nigeria banned Twitter in July 2021 after a tweet that referenced civil war by President Muhammadu Buhari was deleted on the social media platform.
Nigeria thereafter declared the use of Twitter illegal and threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone using Twitter. The government also ordered all broadcast stations to suspend the patronage of Twitter.
“The Buhari administration in suspending the operations of Twitter violates the rights of SERAP and 176 concerned Nigerians to the enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and the media, as well as the right to fair hearing,” the court ruled.
The court also ordered the Buhari administration to take necessary steps to align its policies and other measures to give effect to the rights and freedoms, and to guarantee a non-repetition of the unlawful ban of Twitter.
The Court also ordered the Buhari administration to bear the costs of the proceedings and directed the Deputy Chief Registrar to assess the costs accordingly.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and the full enjoyment of this right is central to achieving individual freedom and to developing democracy. It is not only the cornerstone of democracy, but indispensable to a thriving civil society.