A coalition of 25 civil society organisations (CSOs) says it will not stop using Twitter.
On Saturday, Malami ordered the prosecution of anyone caught violating the suspension of Twitter in the country. His directive came after the federal government announced the suspension of Twitter’s operations.
Twitter’s suspension came after it took down a controversial tweet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement on Tuesday, the CSOs said they are not aware of any law that prohibits the use of Twitter.
They described the suspension of the social media platform as an assault on the civic space and a clampdown on free speech.
“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,” the statement said.
“We are also 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.
“We, therefore, wish to categorically say that we, as individuals, and our organisations, do not know any law that the act of sharing information breaks, and will continue to use Twitter, other social media platforms, and other media channels, to share information and engage with citizens.
“We note 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 stand with Nigerians who continue to exercise their fundamental human rights, especially as we will be celebrating Democracy Day on Saturday, June 12.”
Here are the 25 CSOs that signed the statement: