Leaders of civil society organisations in the country have stated that they will continue to tweet in spite of the ban on Twitter operations announced by the Federal Government.
The leaders, in a press statement they jointly signed on Monday, said the move by the government to prosecute Twitter users is “a violation of human rights and an utter abuse of power.”
The 27 CSO leaders and activists said the ban on Twitter operations in the country is a continued assault on the civic space and anti-democratic clampdown on free speech.
“We note that Section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) makes it impossible to convict any person for a criminal offence if that offence is not defined and its penalty not prescribed in a written law.
“On the power of Section 36 (12) which protects a fundamental human right, we, therefore, note and state unequivocally that the Attorney General’s statement threatening to prosecute citizens using Twitter contravenes the Constitution and is a violation of human rights and utter abuse of power.
“We stand with Nigerians who continue to exercise their fundamental human rights, especially as we will be celebrating Democracy Day on Saturday, June 12,” the statement said.
Those who signed the statement include Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative (PIN), ‘Gbenga Sesan; Executive Director, EiE Nigeria, ‘Yemi Adamolekun; Adebayo Raphael of Centre for Liberty; Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani; Cheta Nwanze; Chioma Agwuegbo of, TechHerNG; Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution; Concerned Nigerians; Director of Programs, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu; Deaf Women Aloud Initiative (DWAI); Executive Director, Dorothy Njemanze Foundation (DNF), Dorothy Njemanze; Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda, Edetean Ojo.
Others are Hamzat Lawal of Connected Development [CODE] / Follow The Money; Founder, Dataphyte, Joshua Olufemi; Executive Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan; Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Kolawole Oluwadare; Lex Initiative for Rights Advocacy and Development (LIRAD); Mojirayo Ogunlana-Nkanga of Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA); Nana Nwachukwu; Nelson Olanipekun of Citizen Gavel; Executive Director, Education as a Vaccine, Olabukunola Williams; Oluwatosin Alagbe of Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism; Raising New Voices Initiative; Director, BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde; Tunde Aremu; Executive Director, Youth Alive Foundation (YAF), Udy Akpan; Executive Director, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Y.Z Y’au.
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