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Reps summon Lai Mohammed over Twitter suspension

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to begin investigation into the suspension placed on Twitter by the Federal Government.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, set up the committee at the resumption of the plenary session of the House on Tuesday in Abuja.

Gbajabiamila added that the committees should Invite the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to brief the House on the objectives, intent, and duration of the suspension on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

He said the move was in the service of its obligations under the constitution and its moral duty to the Nigerian people.

He said the committees were to investigate the circumstances of the decision by the Federal Government of to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria

He added that the committees should also investigate the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in the country.

He gave the committees 10 days within which to report to the House, adding that the report of the committees would guide further action by the House on the matter.

The Speaker urged the committees to act with speed and sound judgment to address the issue that has animated national conversations over the last few days.

He stated that the suspension on Twitter in Nigeria had generated fierce debate, adding that members had since the announcement been inundated with comments about the decision, requests for intervention and criticism.

According to him, the House of Representatives recognises that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important tool for communication and commerce in Nigeria particularly among the younger generation who have used these networks for enterprise and innovation with great success.

“The House also recognises that as social media has been a tool for good, it can also be a tool for bad actors.

“As such, the government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that these platforms are not used to commit vile actions against individuals and the State.

He said the proper role of the legislature in circumstances was first to peel back the layers of the decision-making process to unravel the issues until it developed an understanding of the why and the how of executive decisions.

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