Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has faulted the Federal Government’s suspension of Twitter in Nigeria and its recent decision to hold talks with the company.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Wednesday, the SAN said the decision to meet should have been planned before the suspension was done.
He, however said it was a good development.
“The Federal Government meeting with Twitter is a good development but in many instances, they put the cart before the horse. I feel this should have been done earlier. The government protested when it was dissatisfied with certain developments. This kind of meeting would have been called much earlier and the embarrassment and inconvenience that Nigerians were subjected to would have been totally avoided. But I think it is a good development that both sides are going to meet,” he said.
When asked about the legality of ECOWAS’ involvement in the matter, Falana said: “In the 60s and 70s it was convenient for dictators in Africa to plead sovereignty that nobody should interfere with our internal affairs but in these days and times, one countries have submitted part of their sovereignties to international bodies, in this case the ECOWAS, Nigeria has ratified the protocols establishing the court as well as the supplementary project, it is therefore too late to rush back home and say we are independent, we are sovereign nation”.
The Federal Government has since come under fire for its decision to ban the social media platform in the country both from citizens and the international community.
Beyond the ban, the Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, had also announced that anyone found still using the app would be prosecuted.
But on Tuesday, the ECOWAS Court of Justice joined the call to condemn the decisions.
The court restrained the Federal Government from imposing sanctions or harassing, intimidating, arresting, or prosecuting Twitter.
It also restricted the government from carrying out such actions against any other social media service provider, as well as media houses, pending the hearing and determination of a suit challenging the government’s suspension of Twitter operations in the country.