Falana Says FG’s Meeting With Twitter Late, Backs ECOWAS Ruling

Human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has described the meeting between the Federal Government and the management of Twitter as belated.

Speaking on Channels Television, Falana insisted that the federal government ought to have engaged Twitter before the ban to avoid Nigeria’s current embarrassment.

“The Federal government’s 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.

On ECOWAS ruling stopping the federal government from arresting and prosecuting anyone using Twitter, Falana slammed the government for rejecting the ruling.

According to the senior lawyer, having ratified the protocols establishing the ECOWAS court, Nigeria is bound to obey its ruling.

“In the 60s and 70s it was convenient for dictators in Africa to plead sovereignty that nobody should interfere with our internal affairs,” Falana said.

“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 a sovereign nation.

“You have already admitted that your activities can be examined by the supernational court like the ECOWAS Court.

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“What happened in this case as soon as SERAP filed the case before the ECOWAS court, alleging that the right to freedom of expression of Nigerians has been violated by the suspension of Twitter, the government joined issue, raised serious objection and anchored it in particular on certain provisions of the penal code relating to sedition which is very embarrassing.

“We made it clear to the court that the sedition was unconstitutional.”

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