A Critical Examination of the Constitutionality of FG’s Suspension of Twitter Activities in Nigeria by Wisdom C. Onyisi
A Critical Examination of the Constitutionality of Federal Government’s Suspension of Twitter Activities in Nigeria by Wisdom C. Onyisi
In Nigeria, the Constitution is the floor norm and as such different legal guidelines draw from it. The 1999 structure ensures the proper of each Nigerian to freedom of speech and expression. Section 39 (1) states that each particular person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, together with freedom to carry opinions and to obtain; impart data with out interference. The suspension of twitter actions will impede this constitutional proper as a result of twitter is one of Media the place Nigerians specific their opinions, converse and talk. Section 45 of the 1999 structure, is to the impact that the freedoms listed in sections 38 to 44 should not absolute. It is in these rights not being absolute, that resides hate speech, slander, libel and different excesses of freedom of expression.:
In no unequivocal time period, Section 45 offers “(1) nothing in sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this Constitution, shall invalidate any regulation that’s fairly justified in a democratic society-
1. In the curiosity of protection, public security, public order, public morality or public well being; or
2. For the goal of defending the rights and freedom of different individuals…”
The full purport of this restrictive provisions in part 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is that the proper to freedom of speech and expression can solely be derogated by a regulation duly handed by the National Assembly and never mere directives or order from the Executive.. This is in line with the judgment of the courts in Ogwuche v. Federal Republic of Nigeria; Okedara v. Attorney General of the Federation; Marwa & Ors v. Nyako & Ors (1980) LPELR-2936 (SC))
In Din v. African Newspapers of Nig Ltd (1990) LPELR-947 (SC) the Court declared that beneath the Constitution it was clear that liberty of thought and freedom of expression have been paramount. It famous that the freedom assured beneath part 39 of the Constitution consists of the freedom to carry an opinion and go data with out interference; and that this freedom presupposes free movement of opinion and concepts important to maintain the collective life of the citizenry. [p. 24] The Court nevertheless, confused that the proper offered beneath part 39 just isn’t an open-ended or absolute proper, the proper is certified, and subsequently topic to some restrictions by the provisions of part 45 of the Constitution.
It is subsequently submitted that the suspension of twitter actions is one other crackdown of the proper to freedom of expression and of the press.
Wisdom Onyisi is a passionate and prolific author, poet, budding human proper activist and lawyer