The Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ordered the Federal Republic of Nigeria to either repeal or amend its law on cybercrime to align with its obligation under Article 1 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The court made the order on Friday in a judgment on a suit filed by the incorporated trustees of Laws and Rights Awareness Initiative, challenging the competence of Nigeria’s Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act 2015.
A three-man panel of the court held that portions of the law violated Nigerians’ right to freedom of expression.
Justice Januaria T.S. Moreira Costa, in the lead judgment, held the Nigerian government liable for the violation of the right to freedom of expression by the adoption of Section 24 of its 2015 Cybercrime Act.
Other members of the panel were Justices Dupe Atoki (presiding) and Keikura Bangura.
The court rejected, for lack of evidence, other claims made by the plaintiff in relation to the contention that the law violated its members’ right to freedom of expression.
It ordered each party to bear its own cost.
Read Also: Court declines Okorocha’s request to stop probe by EFCC, Imo panel
The plaintiff had, in the suit marked: ECW/CCJ/APP/53/18 filed on 6 November 2018 by its lawyer, Chukwudi Ajaegbo, claimed among others, that its members’ freedom of expression on the internet or in the use of computer devices was limited/breached by Section 24 of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
It also claimed that nine of its collaborators were arrested and detained in connection with the enforcement of the provision of Section 24 of the Cybercrime Act in violation of Articles 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and 39 of the Nigeria’s Constitution.
The plaintiff argued that Section 24 contained vague concepts that allowed for arbitrary interpretation and application, and that the restrictions it imposes were not reasonably justifiable as they did not pursue legitimate objectives, necessary nor proportional.
The Nigerian Government, in a counter-argument, faulted the plaintiff’s claims and insisted that Section 24 of its Cybercrime Act 2015 was adopted as a legislative measure to give effect to freedom of expression as provided in Article 9(2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and was in accordance with provisions of Section 39(3) of the country’s 1999 Constitution.
BREAKING: Court Stops Farouk From Parading as President of AFAN
The All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has obtained a court injunction from a Federal High Court in Kano, stopping Mr Mudi Farouk Rabiu from further parading himself as the president of the umbrella farmers’ body and holding any activity in the name of AFAN.
The Mudi led breakaway faction had illegally usurped the authority of the association at the national level without grassroot support and in violation of the association’s constitution, to the extent of gaining recognition from the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, who did not heed to appeals from the bona fide executive to disregard him.
In a statement made available to the media, Alhaji Salisu Mukhtar, Assistant Publicity Secretary of AFAN, noted that: “the desperation and misadventure of the lawless group led by Faruk Rabi’u Mudi and his fraudulent obtuse supporters have led them to earn the wrath of the law in Kano.”
According to Murktar, on Monday, 16th August, 2021 the Mudi led group organized a charade at the Sani Abacha Indoor Stadium, Kano to illegally conduct the election of officials of AFAN Kano State chapter, before the injunction which was issued on the 18th August 2021.
He said: “The group boastfully announced that they would be on air to be seen by the whole world. This was regardless of the pendency of a matter they filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja, slated for definite hearing on 27th September, 2021.
“A law-abiding group would wait for the determination of the matter before proceeding to do anything but because they are bereft of decorum and good education they landed themselves in a serious quagmire.”
Recall that the All Farmers Association of Nigeria Kano Chapter illegally registered by Mudi which was used to open a fresh bank account in Heritage Bank was disapproved by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
AFAN has continued to flay Heritage Bank for allowing the illegal account which was opened without due diligence to remain open and deployed in fraudulent activities which Mudi has been accused of by third parties.
According to Murktar, AFAN had earlier written the management of Heritage Bank on the 14th of February 2021 referenced AFAN/HERITAGE/FRAUD/CAC/2021/014th February, 2021 on the illegality of the account opened with them in the name of a fake entity claiming to be AFAN.
The letter reads in part: “We write to inform you that your Branch has inadvertently opened an Account: All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Acct. No.5100311787 without due diligence.
“All Farmers Association of Nigeria Kano Chapter is a nullity as the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) has issued a letter dated 22nd June, 2020 (copy attached) to them to change their name within six weeks or it will be cancelled.
“The registration of All Farmers Association of Nigeria Kano Chapter contradicts CAMA as it is not done with the express permission of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), the parent body.
“We implore you to close this account forthwith because it has been opened to defraud the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and all Nigerian farmers.”
AFAN further disagreed with the minister for permitting Mudi to give a goodwill message at the Council on Agriculture conference held in June 2021, where the police soon moved in to arrest him over a criminal matter but was shielded from the arrest by the minister.
“We are looking up to the police to ask Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono to produce him since he has not been seen in his office since June,” Murktar said.
The association noted that the injunction secured from the Kano Judiciary has finally clipped the wings of the renegade faction and their leader Mudi from parading as members or representatives of AFAN anywhere, warning that anything that the group received in the name of AFAN from the ministry of Agriculture for AFAN members nationwide should hitherto be accounted for.
“We reiterate that anyone who transacts any AFAN business with Faruk Rabi’u Mudi does so at his own peril.
The Faruk faction had earlier advertised a paid registration platform for farmers with the promise of accessing micro-credit loans, benefitting from programmes and interventions.
Intending registrants were required to indicate their names, states, and commodity they produce, while making the payment.
However, the executive led by Arc Kabir Ibrahim had insisted that Mudi is not a member of AFAN but a fraud.
See judgement below;
#BuhariMustGo: Court Orders SSS to Release Protesters Arrested at Dunamis Church
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered State Security Services, (SSS) to release five worshipers who were arrested at Dunamis International Gospel Centre on July 4 for allegedly wearing #BuhariMustGo t-shirts.
The applicants, Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Emmanuel Larry and Samuel Gabriel Iwatonaiye, filed their separate suits at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Anwuli Chikere gave the order following separate ex parte applications filed on their behalf by their lawyer,Tope Temokun.
Justice Chikere ordered that the SSS should release the applicants with immediate effect.
They had sued the SSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the church’s pastor-in-charge, Pastor Paul Enenche and others for alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
The plaintiffs, who urged the court to declare their arrest and detention unlawful, also asked the court to award N10 million, each, in damages, for the violation of their fundamental rights.
Mr Temokun had argued in the separate suits that his clients were entitled to fundamental right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression and the press, right to freedom from discrimination and right to personal liberty.
According to him, the rights are guaranteed under Sections 35, 38, 39 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and under Articles 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement.
Other defendants include the Director-General of the DSS, Mr Yusuf Bichi and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The matter has been adjourned until August 2 for hearing.
Kemi Adeosun: Court Clears Ex-Minister of NYSC Certificate Controversy
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, cleared the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, of National Youth Service Corps certificate forgery, which resulted in her resignation in 2018.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his ruling on the originating summon with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/303/21 brought by Wole Olanipekun SAN, on her behalf, held that the NYSC certificate based on the constitution is not a mandatory requirement for holding a political office in the country.
“I am of the view that denying the plaintiff of the relieves sought is not going to be doing justice to the matter,” she said.
The judge, therefore, granted all the four relieves sought for determination by the former minister.
Taiwo noted that the defendant stated that the Federal Government did not withdraw the ministerial appointment of the plaintiff or ask her to resign, but that Adeosun resigned on her own accord.
Politics1 year ago
Electricity Tariff Hike: Review Is A Painful Adjustment – President Buhari
Politics1 year ago
Party Crisis: Progressives Governors’ Forum DG Calls For Constitutional Review
Politics1 year ago
PGF Boss, Lukman Denies Media Report of Division Among APC Governors
Investigation1 year ago
NDDC Spent 1.3trn Between 2015 And 2019 – Senate Report
Politics2 years ago
Ignore Tinubu’s Comment, He Cannot Speak for South-West – Activist
News3 years ago
Armed Forces Need N9bn Annually For Shoes, Boots, Says DG Defence Research
Politics1 year ago
South-South Zone Is Completely PDP, Says Wike Ahead Of Edo Election
Politics1 year ago
Edo Refinery, Other Projects Will Earn Gov. Obaseki Second Term – Gideon Ikhine