The community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has fixed June twenty-second for a hearing on a motion in a suit challenging Nigerian Government’s suspension of the operations of the microblogging platform, Twitter.
The plaintiffs are the Registered Trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, and four hundred and twenty Nigerians, including former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili and the co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement Aisha Yesufu.
The court, in a notice to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, and respondent’s counsel, Mrs. Maimuna Shiru, stated that the hearing will be virtual.
SERAP and the four hundred and twenty Concerned Nigerians are suing over “the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, criminalization of Nigerians and other people using Twitter, and the escalating repression of human rights, particularly the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in the country”.
In the suit numbered ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21, they are seeking: “An order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing its suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, and subjecting anyone including media houses, broadcast stations using Twitter in Nigeria to harassment, intimidation, arrest and criminal prosecution, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”