The Nigerian government has ordered the prosecution of citizens who bypass the country’s firewall and continue the use of Twitter despite the ban in the country.
The West African country’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami gave the order on Saturday in a statement where he directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF) to prosecute offenders of the Federal Government ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria.
“The AGF directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF) at his office to swing into action and commence in earnest the process of prosecution of violators of the Federal Government de-activation of operations of Twitter in Nigeria,” the statement signed by Umar Gwandu, a special assistant to the minister read.
“The DPPF is to liase with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Communication (NCC) and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.”
Telecommunication operators in Nigeria had on Saturday confirmed the enforcement of a federal government’s directive to suspend Twitter in the country a day after the ban was announced.
Many Nigerians scaled the country’s firewall using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) as Twitter users in the country woke up on Saturday experiencing difficulty in accessing the microblogging services.
Nigeria joins a list of autocratic states in placing a ban on Twitter and other social media services.
Countries such as China, Turkey and some others have come under fire for putting restrictions on social media platforms including Twitter.
By Abel Ejikeme