The house of representatives has on Tuesday summoned Lai Mohammed, Buhari’s minister of information and culture, over the suspension of micro-blogging site, Twitter in the country
At its sitting on Tuesday, the house mandated its committees on communication, justice, information and culture, and national security and intelligence to immediately commence an investigation into the suspension of the microblogging site.
Recall that the Lai Mohammed had on Friday ordered all Telecoms to block Nigerians from accessing Twitter.
The presidency in a statement disclosed that the “temporary suspension” of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is not only because Buhari’s post was deleted but part of efforts to prevent the “violent” consequences usually linked to the spread of fake news and misinformation
In a bid to enforce the ban on Twitter, Nigeria’s Attorney General Abubakar Malami threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone who tweets in Nigeria, as many use VPN to bypass the blockage.
Speaking during the plenary session, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, said the green chamber has been “inundated with comments about the decision, requests for intervention and criticism”.
“The House of Representatives recognises that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important tool for communication and commerce in Nigeria, particularly amongst the younger generation who have used these networks for enterprise and innovation with great success,” he said.
“It is in service of our obligations under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our moral duty to the Nigerian people, that the leadership of the House has decided to mandate the House Committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to immediately commence an investigation to determine the circumstances of the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
“The Committees are additionally mandated to invite the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to brief the House of Representatives on the objectives, intent, and duration of the suspension on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and to report to the House within ten days.”
Gbajabiamila said the report of the committee will guide “further action by the house of representatives” on the suspension of the social media platform.
“Therefore, I urge the committees to act with speed and sound judgment to address this issue that has animated our national conversations over the last few days,” he said.