SERAP Prepares Legal Action Against Northern Governors Over Social Media

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to sue the Northern Governors’ Forum; and the National Assembly if the social media Bill is passed.

This was contained in a tweet by SERAP on Tuesday, November 3, in reaction to the call by the northern governors; for more social media regulations in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.

“We’ll sue the Northern Governors’ Forum and @nassnigeria if any Social Media bill is passed and signed by President Buhari. Nigerians have a right to freedom of expression online.

“We won’t accept any illegal attempts to interfere with that right #NoToSocialMediaBill,” SERAP tweeted.

We’ll sue the Northern Governors’ Forum and @nassnigeria
if any Social Media bill is passed and signed by President Buhari.

Nigerians have a right to freedom of expression online.

We won’t accept any illegal attempts to interfere with that right#NoToSocialMediaBill

— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) November 3, 2020

The Northern Governors after a meeting with northern traditional and political leaders on Monday; called for censorship and control of social media.

Their decision was contained in a communique read by the Chairman of the forum who is the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.

The northern governors lamented over what they described as the devastating effect of uncontrolled social media in spreading fake news and in turn, fuelling the crisis.

The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, popularly known as the Social Media Bill was sponsored in 2019 by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa.

Also, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan earlier in 2020 said that the National Assembly would not arrogate to itself the power of exclusively passing the social media Bill into law; without inputs from Nigerians.

Lawan said freedom of speech and the inalienable rights of man are issues that should not be compromised under any guise.

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