The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to sue the Northern Governors’ Forum and the National Assembly over the proposed social media bill .
In a tweet on Tuesday SERAP reacted to the call by the northern governors for more social media regulations following the #EndSARS protests.
“We’ll sue the Northern Governors’ Forum and @nassnigeria if any Social Media bill is passed and signed by President Buhari. Nigerians have a right to freedom of expression online.
“We won’t accept any illegal attempts to interfere with that right #NoToSocialMediaBill,” the human rights group tweeted.
Recall that Northern governor’s had earlier on Monday after a meeting with northern traditional and political leaders called for censorship and control of social media in a communique read by the Chairman of the forum who is the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.
The northern governors expressed worry over what they described as the devastating effect of uncontrolled social media in spreading of fake news and in turn, fuelling crisis.
The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, popularly known as the Social Media Bill was sponsored in 2019 by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan however said that the National Assembly would not arrogate to itself the power of exclusively passing the social media bill into law without inputs from Nigerians.
Lawan who stated this early 2020 in an address delivered to declare open a Public Hearing on the Social Media Bill said freedom of speech and the inalienable rights of man are issues that should not be compromised under any guise.