Make Public Details Of Your Agreement With Twitter, SERAP Tells FG

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Muhammadu Buhari administration to make public the details of the agreement it reached with Twitter before it lifted its seven-month ban on the social network company.

SERAP asked President Buhari to direct the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to provide Nigerians with copy of the recently signed agreement.

The rights group also wants Mohammed to clarify how the agreement with Twitter will be enforced, including if it is consistent with the Nigerian Constitution as regards the protection of humans rights, amongst others.

In a letter dated January 15, 2022, and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, the organization said; “Publishing the agreement would enable Nigerians to scrutinize it, seek legal remedies as appropriate, and ensure that the conditions for lifting the suspension are not used as pretexts to suppress legitimate discourse.

“Publishing the agreement with Twitter will also promote transparency, accountability, and help to mitigate threats to Nigerians’ rights online, as well as any interference with online privacy in ways that deter the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression.”

The group stated that Nigerians are entitled to their constitutionally and internationally recognized human rights, such as freedom of expression, access to information, as well as both online and offline public participation.

In the letter copied to Mohammed and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SERAP emphasized that any agreement with social media companies must meet constitutional and international requirements, including the legality, necessity, proportionality, and legitimacy of the contents.

It said: “Any conditions for lifting the suspension of Twitter must meet the requirements of regular legal processes and limit government discretion. Secretly agreed conditions will fail these fundamental requirements.

“The government has to demonstrate that the conditions for lifting the suspension of Twitter would not threaten or violate the enjoyment of Nigerians’ human rights online and that the conditions are in pursuit of a legitimate goal in a democratic society.”

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