A former Presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, has filed a suit before a Federal High Court asking the court to compel the Nigerian Communications Commission to shut down Twitter and prevent it from operating within the Nigerian cyberspace.
Garba, in a fundamental human rights suit filed on Monday, prayed the court to “direct the 7th respondent ( NCC ) to stop the operation of Twitter International Company in any part of the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Ironically, Garba, who is a very active user of Twitter, has over 32,000 followers.
The #EndSARS protests have been largely coordinated on Twitter where it has also been able to gather funding.
Twitter Chief Executive Officer, Jack Dorsey, had last week endorsed the #EndSARS campaign and posted links to donations, a move which drew the ire of Garba.
Although the Nigerian Senate is currently considering an ‘Anti -Social Media Bill’, there are no known instances of the Federal Government shutting down social media sites
Other African countries like Burundi, Benin Republic and Sudan have in the past shut down social media amid criticisms from international rights groups.
According to the BBC, several people were unable to access these platforms except with the use of Virtual Private Networks which disguise a user’s presence on the Internet.
In 2019, these instances of shutdowns collectively cost Sub – Saharan Africa about $2.16bn.