Renowned rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Femi Falana, has berated the Federal Government for meeting with the management of Twitter on ways of resolving the ban of microblogging sites in Nigeria.
Speaking on a monitored programme on Channels Television, Politics Today, chief Falana insisted that the federal government ought to engage Twitter before the ban.
“The Federal government meeting with twitter is a good development but in many instances, they put the cart before the horse. I feel this should have been done earlier. The government protested when it was dissatisfied with certain developments. This kind of meeting would have been called much earlier and the embarrassment and inconvenience that Nigerians were subjected to would have been totally avoided. But I think it is a good development that both sides are going to meet”.
He noted, that in the 60s and 70s, it was convenient for dictators in Africa to plead sovereignty, so that external bodies do not interfere with our internal affairs, but in these days and times, we have submitted part of our sovereignties to international bodies like ECOWAS.
It is therefore too late to rush back home and say we are independent, we are sovereign nation.
Asked the jurisdiction of ECOWAS as a moral compass on the issue, Falana said: “In the 60s and 70s it was convenient for dictators in Africa to plead sovereignty that nobody should interfere with our internal affairs but in these days and times, one countries have submitted part of their sovereignties to international bodies, in this case the ECOWAS, Nigeria has ratified the protocols establishing the court as well as the supplementary project, it is therefore too late to rush back home and say we are independent, we are sovereign nation.
“You have already admitted that your activities can be examined by the supernational court like the ECOWAS court and what happen in this case as soon as SERAP filed the case before the ECOWAS court, alleging that the right to freedom of expression of Nigerians have been violated, by the suspension of twitter, the government joined issue, raised serious objection and anchored it in particular on certain provision of the penal code relating to sedition which is very embarrassing. We made it clear to the court that the sedition was unconstitutional….”