Acting president of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), Prince Kehinde Taiga, on Wednesday said that there is no existing law in Nigeria under which violators of the ban of the use of Twitter by President Muhammadu Buhari could by prosecuted.
Last Friday, the federal government of Nigeria through the minister of information, Lai Muhammed, suspended the use of the micro-blogging site, Twitter, for reportedly deleting a tweet made by President Buhari.
This is even as the authority’s reason for banning the Twitter was that it is being used to cause violence and disafection in Nigeria and not for deleting Buhari’s tweet, though Nigerians understand.
Just after the pronouncement of the suspension by the president, minister of justice and attorney general, Abubakar Mallami, said Nigerians who violate the ban and continued to use Twitter would be prosecuted. He, however, did not state under which law they would be prosecuted.
But Taiga told Emerald News on phone that for “any law to be effective, it must past through the National Assembly. There is no law that says whoever uses Twitter should be arrested.”
He added: “On what ground should violators be prosecuted? What is the offense of the violators to warrant prosecution? What law has the person breached? Section 33 of the constitution guarantees freedom of communication. Mr. President and his attorney general have no legal backing to prosecute anybody that uses Twitter.”
Taiga agreed with opposition members of the National Assembly who told Nigerians to go ahead with use of Twitter, saying Twitter ban is s breach of fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
He said before any law is implemented, it must have passed through proceedings in the National Assembly. He stated the process to include presentation of the bill, first reading, second reading and others before it is made a law.
Hence, he said no law has been made stating that anybody making use of Twitter should be prosecuted.
“Nigeria will continue to use Twitter because there is no existing law that bans the use of of Twitter in the country. It can be contested in the court of law. The president can be charged for violation of fundamental human rights of Nigerians,” he said.
Taiga said what Buhari and the AGF have done is conspiracy to violate the rights of Nigerians, insisting that what the authorities have done is a violation of the UN charter on people’s rights.
When asked if Twitter from its action did wrong to Buhari, he said Twitter did not offend Buhari in any way.
He said: “Nobody is above the law. If you breach the rules and regulations of any organization, the organization has right to suspend you. If you recall, Donald Trump was suspended for two years. Buhari is feeling as if he is number one in the whole world.”
The rights activist advised the president to respect Nigeria’s constitution and people’s fundamental human rights as declared by the United Nation.