Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has ordered the immediate prosecution of Nigerians still making use of the microblogging platform, Twitter, despite the ban of its operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government.
This is as the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, announced the deactivation of her Twitter account in compliance with the Federal Government’s ban on the platform on Friday evening.
The directive by Nigeria’s Minister of Justice is coming despite both local and international condemnation of the Federal Government’s action.
The announcement Is contained in a statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Saturday, June 5, 2021, with the spokesperson of the Ministry, Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, saying that the AGF directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation to swing into immediate action and commence prosecution of the violators of the ban.
What the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation is saying
The statement from the Ministry partly reads:
“Malami directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF) at the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to 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.
Malami directed the DPPF to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Communication (NCC) and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.’’
Meanwhile, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, in her reaction to the government’s order said, “I will be deactivating my Twitter account for now. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” she wrote before deactivating her account.
In case you missed it
The Federal Government of Nigeria had on Friday, June 4, 2021, announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while announcing the suspension, cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Following the announcement, telecom operators in Nigeria blocked Twitter, leaving users in the country unable to access the microblogging website, while some navigated the hurdle using Virtual Private Networks (VPN).