Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court, Ebonyi, on Tuesday declared the recently enacted State Cybercrimes Law null and void.
The Ebonyi State government had in September 2021 enacted the law to check the use of social media and related matters in the state.
The judge gave the verdict while ruling on an application filed by one Pascal Etu.
Governor Dave Umahi, the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, the state Attorney-General, the Commissioner of Police and the State Security Services were listed as respondents in the suit.
After the enactment of the law, the state government arrested Etu for breaching the law early this year and remanded him in prison on the order of the State Magistrate Court.
With a pending case at the State High Court, the plaintiff filed a new case against the state government and four others at the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, where he challenged the constitutionality of the law.
In the suit with number FCAI/CS/6/2022 filed through his lawyers, Etu prayed the court to declare that the Ebonyi State House of Assembly had no powers to make such laws.
He urged the court to declare the law null and void, claiming that it was contrary to the Cybercrimes Act passed by the National Assembly.
In his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Riman also issued an order of interim injunction restraining the Ebonyi State government from enforcing the law.
He held that the Ebonyi State House of Assembly had no constitutional powers to make such laws because the National Assembly had enacted the Cybercrimes Act in 2015 which is applicable in all the states of the federation.
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