Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has denied rumours that his office will prosecute Nigerians who tweet despite the country’s Twitter ban.
Malami told Vanguard that his office will not prosecute Nigerians using the microblogging service, whether they are in or out of the country, but will pursue any company or entity that offers to help Twitter bypass the government’s suspension of operations.
Pastor Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and Pastor Kumuyi, the Senior Pastor of Deeper Life Church, both tweeted from their accounts two days ago, prompting many Nigerians to wonder if the Minister would follow through on his threat to prosecute Twitter defaulters by targeting the revered clergymen.
Reacting during the interview, Malami said; “It is within their guaranteed fundamental right to tweet from anywhere in the world. Nigeria, being a democratic nation, cannot stop its citizens from exercising their rights of freedom of expression.
But our position on Twitter is clear: Anyone, whether individual or corporate institution that enables Twitter to circumvent the ban the Federal Government of Nigeria placed on the company, will be prosecuted.
Our statement outlining our position on June 1, 2021 did not ask the DPP to prosecute Nigerians using Twitter or any social media platform to express their view. But we are going to use the legal instruments at our disposal to go after those who aid and abet Twitter to continue to threaten our corporate existence as a nation.
It is clear from the barrage of insinuations and falsehood being orchestrated by some Nigerians and those trying to change the clear position of the Government of Nigeria to suit their whims and caprices and to whip up sentiments to hoodwink the people, that they are up to some mischievous and sinister games, which the Federal Government will not condone.
At no time did we threaten any religious leader for using Twitter to express themselves. Neither did we indicate in any way that we were going after them. But mischief-makers were quick to mention names of religious leaders and give the impression that we were already in court to try them.
Let it be made clear that the Buhari administration being a people-centred government that relies on the rule of law, will never adopt any policy or programme that seeks to add pain or injury to the very people who elected it to serve them.
For the record, let it be made amply clear that the AGF, Abubakar Malami, is not after any Nigerian, tweeting from Nigeria or anywhere in the world but that any Nigerian company or entity that gives a helping hand for Twitter to escape the ban placed on it, will be dealt with,” Malami said