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Group hails ECOWAS court over verdict on Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act

Group hails ECOWAS court over verdict on Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act
July 11
16:29 2020
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The Center for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, also known as the Center for Liberty (CFL), says it is pleased with the ruling of the ECOWAS community court of justice sitting in Abuja which ordered the federal government to either repeal or amend its law on cybercrimes.

Januaria Costa who delivered the lead judgment on behalf of a three-man panel, ordered the government to make the law to align with its obligation under Article 1 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The court held that with the enactment of section 24 of the Cybercrime Act, 2015, the Nigerian government is “liable for the violation of the right to freedom of expression”.

In a statement on Saturday, CFL said the ruling of the court is also in line with its position that the social media bill and hate speech bill violates citizens’ right to freedom of expression

“These rulings are in line with our firm belief that the protection from internet falsehoods and manipulation bill, also known as the social media bill, and the hate speech bill, formally christened an act to provide for the prohibition of hate speeches and for other related matters, are anti-democratic and constitute a threat to digital freedom and citizens’ right to freedom of expression,” the group said.

“Considering the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and same has been domesticated in line with the provisions of section 12 of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, it is incumbent upon the Nigerian government to respect the decision of the ECOWAS court on digital freedom.

“It is our hope, now, that the Nigerian government, particularly federal lawmakers will be inspired by these rulings of the ECOWAS court and begin the process of excluding section 24 from the 2015 Cybercrimes Act and also the unfailing withdrawal and permanent internment of the social media bill and hate speech bill.”

The statement was signed by Adebayo Raphael, co-convener of the group; Maryam Ahmed, assistant project officer; Deji Adeyanju, co-convener, and Ariyo-Dare Atoye, co-convener

 

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