Twitter ban: ECOWAS court merges 4 suits against Nigerian government
The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has merged all the four cases brought before it by different applicants against the Federal Government of Nigeria over the suspension of the microblogging platform, Twitter in Nigeria.
PressLoaded reports that the ECOWAS court had fixed July 9 to consolidate suits against the Federal Government on the suspension of Twitter.
In June, the Federal Government suspended the operation of the medium over alleged contents threatening the corporate existence of the country.
Two major applications were brought before the ECOWAS court after the suspension challenging the Federal Government on violating the rights of Twitter users in Nigeria.
However, in a virtual court sitting held via 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, respectively.
In the suit 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 consolidation.
However, the ECOWAS court, after hearing the submissions of the parties, granted the applications and admitted the organizations as amici curiae in the issue.
The ECOWAS also adjourned to September 29, 2021, for a hearing to enable all parties to organize themselves for trial.