Barrister Tope Akinyode has sued President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Senate seeking a halt of the proposed ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill 2019'.
Akinyode, in a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, Akinyode prays the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction prohibiting the respondents from enacting the bill, “which was introduced on the floor of the Nigerian Senate on November 5, 2019 and targeted towards regulating the use of social media in Nigeria".
The suit was filed against the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Federal Republic of Nigeria; President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and the Senate President as respondents.
The lawyer stated that the bill would infringe on Section 39(1) of the constitution which gives Nigerians the right to freely express themselves, hold opinions and receive and impart ideas and information without any let and hindrance.
He said, “In Nigeria’s democracy, the second respondent under the watch of the 3rd respondent is notorious for arbitral disregard for court orders and the rule of law, therefore, the bill seeking to regulate the social media is not reasonably justifiable under Nigeria’s democracy, as there is a grave danger that citizens’ voices will be silenced if the bill is allowed; just as there is no end in sight to the continuous disregard for the rule of law.”