The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, has said Twitter is an illegal foreign company in Nigeria.
He said this during his appearance before the House of Representatives Joint Committee on the Suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. According to Lai, Twitter is not duly registered in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Highlighting Section 78 (1) of CAMA 2020, which states: “Until so incorporated, the foreign company shall not carry on business in Nigeria or exercise any powers of a registered company.
“Hence, flowing from this background a foreign Company as Twitter cannot be clothed with the legitimate rights to operate as a company registered in Nigeria, as they are not licensed accordingly,’’ he added.
The minister also added that the activity on Twitter contravenes public interest and some of the provision of the terrorism act.
Citing Section 49 of the Nigerian Constitution, Lai said the FG’s decision to ban the platform was backed by the Nigerian law. Saying it had the jurisdiction to restrict civil liberties in the public interest because, “public Interest takes precedence over individual interest’’.
He added that, the company has been aiding a proscribed group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He said: “The operations of Twitter in the Nigerian social space is not legally permissible when it is used in airing information that endangers the life and security of the majority of citizens of Nigeria.
“This is in light of the fact that the platform affords IPOB, an organisation already proscribed by the Federal High Court, to champion its seditious and terrorist based activities.”