The information minister during an interview in the United Kingdom had denied the existence of the ‘protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation bill 2019’, stating that he was sure nothing of such was pending before the National Assembly.
Though, in a court process, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Government have both filed an application to justify the need to regulate the social media.
Mr. Tope Akinyode, a Human Rights lawyer and National President of Revolutionary Lawyer’s Forum, had in suit number: FHC/LC/CS/2037/2019 dragged President Buhari, Nigerian Government, National Assembly and Senate President before the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, challenging the social media bill, stating that its enactment was going to violate citizens’ right to free speech.
Reacting to Akinyode’s application, President Buhari and the Nigerian Government had argued that the objectives of the bill was to stop transmission of false statements and suppress financing false information amongst others.
The office of the Attorney-General is putting up the defence for the President and government.
The suit is however to be given a date for hearing but Akinyode is hopeful the court matter will be assigned a date.
According to him; it is the constitutional duty of the court to hear and determine the application.
The bill is repressive and difficult to maintain without a brutal violation of the citizen’s right to free speech.
Absolutely parties will be allowed to argue their case.