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Nigerian government-owned news agency still using Twitter despite ban


More than 20 hours after Nigeria banned the operations of Twitter in the country, a government-owned news agency was still using the social media platform.


News Agency of Nigeria published several posts on Twitter on Saturday including a link that leads to a story on the order issued by the attorney general Abubakar Malami for the prosecution of offenders.

Malami directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF) at the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to start “prosecution of violators of the Federal Government De-activation of operations of Twitter in Nigeria,” his spokesman Umar Jibrilu Gwandu said on Saturday.

Corporations and individuals are targeted for prosecution, Gwandu told BBC.

The news agency is directly under the purview of Minister Lai Mohammed, whose ministry announced the Twitter ban on Friday.

Nigeria’s information ministry said Twitter was “suspended, indefinitely,” because of “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The ministry also announced the suspension on its own Twitter account though it gave no details on when the decision would take effect or what form the suspension would take.

“The announcement made by the Nigerian Government that they have suspended Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is deeply concerning,” the company said in a statement.

“We’re investigating and will provide updates when we know more.”

The ministry did not give details about what activities were threatening Nigeria.

In reaction to the Twitter ban, Nigeria’s First Lady Aisha Buhari deactivated her account on Saturday while several government accounts ceased using their handles.


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