Remember when Nigeria banned the use of Twitter for seven months? Well, to no one’s shock, the Economic Community of West African States’ court has declared the move “illegal”.
After the suspension, Twitter was reauthorized in January 2022 after negotiations between Abuja and the social network.
According to the ECOWAS, this suspension was “illegal and incompatible” with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Nigeria violated the rights of citizens and NGOs – at the origin of the complaint – to “enjoy their freedom of expression and access to information and the media”.
The court has issued a stern warning to the Nigerian state to ensure that this illegal ban on Twitter is not repeated in the future.
The Nigerian government announced in June 2021 the suspension of Twitter for an “indefinite period” after accusing the social network of having a “suspicious mission” against the Nigerian government, and of tolerating on its platform the messages of the leader of a separatist group inciting violence in southeast Nigeria.
The move came two days after the microblogging site removed a post from Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened to punish regional secessionists.