February 1, 2023

Nigerians sue President Buhari over ‘failure to publish copy of agreement with Twitter’

President Joe Biden speaks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari after a meeting on the Build Back Better World initiative, Tuesday, November 2, 2021, during the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
President Joe Biden speaks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari after a meeting on the Build Back Better World initiative, Tuesday, November 2, 2021, during the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said on Sunday that it has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari over “the failure to publish copy of the agreement the Federal Government recently signed with Twitter, Inc, and the failure to publish the details of the terms and conditions of any such agreement.”

Joined in the suit filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos is Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed.

The Federal Government of Nigeria had in January lifted the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria, saying that “Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history.”

SERAP asked the court to “direct and compel President Buhari and Alhaji Lai Mohammed to release and widely publish copy of the agreement with Twitter, and the terms and conditions of any such agreement.”

“It is in the interest of justice to grant this application. Publishing the agreement would enable Nigerians to scrutinize it, seek legal remedies as appropriate, and ensure that the conditions for lifting the suspension of Twitter are not used as pretexts to suppress legitimate discourse,” SERAP wrote. “Publishing the agreement with Twitter would promote transparency, accountability, and help to mitigate threats to Nigerians’ rights online, as well as any interference with online privacy and freedom of expression.”

It said, “Any agreement with social media companies must meet the constitutional requirements of legality, necessity, proportionality and legitimacy. Secretly agreed terms and conditions will fail these fundamental requirements.”


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