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ECOWAS Court merges four suits against FG over Twitter ban in Nigeria



ECOWAS Court merges four suits against FG over Twitter ban in Nigeria

The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has consolidated all the four cases brought before it by various applicants against the Federal Government of Nigeria over the ban of the microblogging platform, Twitter in Nigeria.

Recall that ECOWAS Court had fixed July 9 to merge suits against the Federal Government on Twitter suspension in Nigeria.

The Federal Government, on June 4, suspended Twitter from operating in the country because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Two significant applications were brought before the ECOWAS Court after the suspension challenging FG on violating the rights of Twitter users in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, in a virtual court sitting held through Zoom on Friday, the ECOWAS Court merged the cases marked as ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21, ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21, ECW/CCJ/APP/24/21, and ECW/CCJ/APP/26/21.

These cases were filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, and 196 others, Media Rights Agency and eight others, Patrick Elohor and Malcolm Omirhobo, accordingly.

In the lawsuit against the Nigerian government, the applicants sought to challenge the action of the respondent in suspending Twitter in Nigeria.

The ECOWAS court made the order of consolidation after hearing from the counsels to the four applicants and the counsel to the respondent, who all agreed to the merge.

In addition, the ECOWAS court, subsequent to hearing the submissions of the parties, granted the applications and admitted the organisations as amici curiae in the matter.

The ECOWAS also adjourned the case to September 29, 2021, for a hearing to enable all parties to put themselves together for trial.

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