Nigeria: Malami Orders Prosecution of Twitter Ban Offenders
Nigeria: Malami Orders Prosecution of Twitter Ban Offenders

The Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, has directed security operatives and others to arrest and prosecute anyone found violating the ban on the use of Twitter in Nigeria.

On Friday, the federal government announced the ban on the operations of the micro-blogging platform in the country, claiming the social media website was being used to threaten the corporate existence of the nation.

The shutting down of Twitter in Nigeria followed the deletion of a tweet of President Muhammadu Buhari by the platform for violation of one of its rules.

Mr Buhari had made a post believed to be offensive to the South East people of Nigeria and after several complaints from Nigerians, the tweet was pulled down and this angered the federal government.

In reaction, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, announced that the platform will no longer be accessible in Nigeria and on Saturday, GSM network providers blocked access to the website.

However, some Nigerians used different Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass the blockage and to clamp down on them, Mr Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said violators of the Twitter ban should be prosecuted with immediate effect.

In a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Mr Umar Gwandu, the Minister said the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF) of the office of the Attorney General should swing into action and commence in earnest the process of prosecution of violators of the federal government de-activation of operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

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Mr Malami also directed the DPPF to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.