13th January, 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari has been served notice of a legal action to make his government pay compensation to Nigerians affected by the seven month ban on Twitter.
Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Agenda (SERAP) served the notice in a tweet on Wednesday night, hours before the Buhari regime lifted the ban imposed 5 June.
“Following the decision by the Buhari administration to lift the Twitter ban from 13th January 2022, we urge President Buhari to immediately pay reparations to the victims of the illegal ban.
“The ban is a travesty; it should never have happened in the first place.
“We’ll see in court to seek orders for adequate compensation and guarantees of non-repetition for the Nigerian victims of the illegal Twitter ban”, SERAP tweeted.
“The Buhari administration has a legal obligation to effectively redress the consequences of the wrongful act of Twitter suspension”, the group added.
The Buhari regime announced the suspension of Twitter on 5 June after the platform deleted a tweet, threatening violence by President Buhari.
After the suspension, government imposed conditions which were non-existent before the suspension.
Mr Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), announced the suspension in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
Inuwa, who is also the Chairman of the Technical Committee on Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, said:
“Twitter has committed to establishing a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022.
“The legal entity will register with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
” The establishment of the entity is Twitter’s first step in demonstrating its long-term commitment to Nigeria.
“Twitter has agreed to appoint a designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities.
“Twitter has agreed to comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law.”
Inuwa also said that Twitter had agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws as well as the national culture and history on which such legislation had been built.
He added that Twitter agreed to work with the Federal Government and the broader industry to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices applicable in almost all developed countries.
“Therefore, the FGN lifts the suspension of the Twitter operations in Nigeria from midnight of 13th January, 2022,” Inuwa said.
In a reaction, Twitter Public Policy also tweeted the philosophy that will guide its Nigerian operations.
“We are pleased that Twitter has been restored for everyone in Nigeria. Our mission in Nigeria & around the world, is to serve the public conversation.
We are deeply committed to Nigeria, where Twitter is used by people for commerce, cultural engagement, and civic participation.”