March 28, 2022
June 5, 2021
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declares that the directive by the
All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to arrest and
prosecute any Nigerian using Twitter, is blatantly unconstitutional,
illegal, null and completely of no moment.
The PDP asserts that the directive by the APC through the Attorney
General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is not only downright
ludicrous, but shows the frenzied desperation by the Buhari Presidency
to muzzle, victimize, clamp down on innocent Nigerians and foist a
totalitarian system on our country.
The PDP states that nothing in our extant laws, not even the suspension
of Twitter in Nigeria, constitutionally criminalized the use of Twitter
by Nigerians or empowers the Federal Governments to arrest and prosecute
any Nigerians for using Twitter.
For Malami’s information, section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as
amended) provides that “a person shall not be convicted of a criminal
offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefor is
prescribed in a written law, and in this subsection, a written law
refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a law of a state, any
subsidiary legislation or instrument under the provisions of the law”.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC are informed that there is no
extant law that defined the use of Twitter as a criminal offence and
there is no penalty prescribed in a written law for the use of Twitter
by any Nigerians.
Moreover, they should also realize that the suspension of Twitter by the
APC Federal Government, in addition to its unconstitutionality, only
suspended Twitter operations and not the use of Twitter by Nigerians.
The directive by the Attorney General to arrest and prosecute any
Nigerians found using Twitter, does not have the backing of any law
enacted by the National Assembly or any state legislative house, and as
such, Malami’s declaration is completely of no legal consequence.
Malami’s directive to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using Twitter is
therefore an attempt to suspend the 1999 Constitution (as amended), a
development which bears the imprints of the leaked memo in which Mr.
President was reportedly advised to suspend the constitution and strip
Nigerians of their rights and freedom.
The PDP again cautions the Buhari Presidency and the APC to end their
acts of suppression against Nigerians as such amounts to pushing the
people to the wall.
National Publicity Secretary