The Media Rights Agenda, a coalition of civil society organisations that work on governance, corruption, elections, digital rights & inclusion, women’s rights and journalism in Nigeria, says it will continue to use the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, other social media platforms, and other media channels, to share information and engage with citizens.
In a statement on Tuesday, it said that Section 36(12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) makes it impossible to convict any person for a criminal offence if that offence is not defined and its penalty not prescribed in a written law.
“On the power of Section 36(12) which protects a fundamental human right, we therefore note and state unequivocally that the Attorney General’s statement threatening to prosecute citizens using Twitter contravenes the Constitution and is a violation of human rights and an utter abuse of power.
“We strongly support statements released by various civil society organisations and other stakeholders, condemning the suspension of the microblogging platform, Twitter, in Nigeria, as this represents a continued assault on the civic space and anti-democratic clampdown on free speech,” it added.
It said it was aware of the statement credited to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, threatening to arrest anyone who continues to tweet after the announced suspension.
It however explained that it stands with Nigerians who continue to exercise their fundamental human rights, especially as the country would be celebrating Democracy Day on Saturday, June 12.