The Socio-Financial Rights Accountability Challenge (SERAP) has criticised a declaration made by President Muhammadu Buhari that the ban on the operations of Twitter within the nation could be lifted it sure circumstances had been met by the American firm.
SERAP urged Buhari to withdraw the circumstances imposed on the microblogging web site pending the ultimate ruling of ECOWAS Court docket on the case.
It additional said that such a pronouncement by the Nigerian authorities may have an effect on the anticipated judgement.
SERAP had sued the Buhari-led authorities on the ECOWAS Court docket in Abuja, difficult the legality of the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.
Buhari had throughout Nigeria’s 61st Independence Day anniversary on October 1, 2021, mentioned the ban on Twitter would solely be lifted if sure circumstances together with those surrounding nationwide safety, had been met.
SERAP famous that the circumstances given by the Nigerian authorities make a mockery of the case pending earlier than the ECOWAS Court docket and in addition create an impression that the course of justice could be impeded.
A letter by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare on Sunday, urged the federal government to permit the courtroom render a choice on the central points within the case.
The letter learn partly; “Pushing circumstances on Twitter whereas the ECOWAS case is pending would prejudice the pursuits of the Plaintiffs, undermine the flexibility of ECOWAS Court docket to do justice within the case, injury public confidence within the courtroom, and prejudice the result of the case.
“It’s within the public curiosity to maintain the streams of justice clear and pure, and to take care of the authority of the ECOWAS Court docket within the case. If not instantly withdrawn, the circumstances would severely undermine Nigeria’s worldwide human rights obligations together with below ECOWAS treaties and protocols, and have critical penalties for the general public curiosity.
“Provided that the one method wherein SERAP and different plaintiffs can have a good and efficient entry to justice is to permit the courtroom to resolve on the deserves of the case earlier than it, equity and justice should, on the info of the ECOWAS case, outweigh any said nationwide safety circumstances.
“Your authorities ought to permit the ECOWAS Court docket to resolve these points, particularly because the Federal Authorities has made the arguments on nationwide safety earlier than the courtroom.
“The core of the precept of judicial independence is the entire liberty of the decide to listen to and resolve the instances earlier than them on the idea of info and in accordance with the regulation, with none improper interference, direct or oblique.
“The precept of the independence of the judiciary has additionally been enshrined within the Fundamental Ideas on the Independence of the Judiciary, endorsed by the Normal Meeting in 1985.
“The Ideas present, inter alia, that it’s the responsibility of all governmental and different establishments to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary (precept 1); that judges shall resolve issues earlier than them impartially with none restrictions or interferences, direct or oblique, from any quarter or for any purpose (precept 2); and that there shall not be any inappropriate or unwarranted interference with the judicial course of (precept 4).”
“SERAP subsequently urges you to urgently withdraw the circumstances imposed on Twitter, and to permit the ECOWAS courtroom to resolve on the go well with introduced by SERAP and different plaintiffs difficult the legality of the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. Judgment within the go well with is mounted for 20 January, 2022.”
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