The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court on Thursday declared the suspension of Twitter operations in June 2021 as unlawful and ordered the Nigerian Government not to give a similar order again.
This judgment was given in a suit filed by Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo, challenging the ban as a violation of his fundamental rights to freedom of expression, speech and association and other Nigerian nationals.
This newspaper gathered the case filed by Malcolm was consolidated with other suits with a similar cause of action.
From 5 June 2021 to 13 January 2022, the government of Nigeria officially banned Twitter, which restricted it from operating in the country.
The ban occurred after Twitter deleted tweets made by Buhari, warning the southeastern people of Nigeria, predominantly Igbo people, of a potential repeat of the 1967 Biafran Civil War due to the ongoing insurgency in Southeastern Nigeria.
The Nigerian government claimed that the deletion of the president’s tweets factored into their decision, but it was ultimately based on “a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences”, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.