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Nigeria, UK hold talks on Electoral Act, PIB, Twitter ban, others

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Thursday met with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Catriona Laing, in Abuja to discuss the asset recovery programme, anti-corruption crusade and amendment of the Electoral Act in the country.

The AGF’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, said the two countries also spoke on the Audit Bill, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Twitter ban, and counter-terrorism approaches at the meeting that lasted one hour.

Malami told the British high commissioner the fundamental interest and objective of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was to leverage on the bills and create a conducive environment for investment in the country.

He said necessary steps had been taken to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and other pending bills are transmitted to the President for assent.

The AGF said: “The essence of the amendment of the Electoral Act was to enhance the democratic system by addressing delays in judicial determination of pre-election matters as well as ensuring justice and fairness in the conduct of election processes including party primaries.

“To strengthen the fight against corruption the government came up with the Proceeds of Crime Bill and Audit Bill among others.

READ ALSO: Buhari appoints Malami, others in dialogue with Twitter over suspension

“Our government is not averse to freedom. Freedom is not borderless. Freedom of expression must not be used in such a manner that incites citizens to violence or calls for an overthrow of a democratically elected government. There are bounds to freedom within the laws.”

Malami said the government had established a committee to look at the Twitter ban, adding that management of the micro-blogging platform had approached the government on the issue.

“If you want to operate as a business entity in Nigeria, you must do so within the context of Nigerian laws, nothing offensive or that breach the Nigerian laws should be entertained,” he added.

In her remarks, the envoy thanked the minister for the clarification on the issues, saying the steps taken by the government in the fight against corruption and electoral reforms are encouraging.

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