Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information, has made it clear that Nigerians who accessed Twitter, including Pastor Enoch Adeboye, should expect prosecution.
Lai Mohammed stated this in an interview with BBC Africa Focus on Monday when asked if Mr. Adeboye will be prosecuted for using Twitter.
Lai Mohammed said: “Well the Attorney General has made it clear that if anybody violates the regulation, such a person will be prosecuted.”
The minister who appeared confused also noted that some Nigerians will be prosecuted while some will not be prosecuted.
He said the office of the Attorney General “will decide on who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.”
Pastor Adeboye had tweeted on Monday with his personal and RGGC accounts.
The respected cleric also justified his insistence on using the platform with Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Article 19 of the UDHR states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Similarly, the general overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Williams Kumuyi, said the mission’s tweets were targeted at its global audience spread across five continents and over 100 nations.
“In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than five continents and over 100 Nations and we share the content from any of these locations,” Mr Kumuyi said.
Oyo governor Seyi Makinde, Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai, and Ondo governor Rotimi Akeredolu had also used the platform after it was banned by the Buhari government.
However, Mr Mohammed also emphasised in the interview that the persistent use of Twitter in Nigeria is undermining the country’s corporate existence.
“The government has suspended indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence and the government
“Also directed the National Broadcasting Commission to immediately commence the process of licencing all social media operations in Nigeria,” he said.