The House of Representatives witnessed a minor fray on Tuesday during a plenary session over the ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The commotion started after Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus leader, Kingsley Chinda, was ruled out of order by the House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Earlier during his statement, Gbajabiamila had disclosed that the joint committees on Communication, Information, Justice, and National Security would investigate the legality of the ban and report back to the House, within 10 days.
However, Chinda (PDP Rivers) said waiting for ten days for the committee to report back to the House would amount to the ban remaining for another ten days.
He said “Mr. Speaker, I stand on section 39 of the Nigerian constitution, section 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human and Peoples right and article 9 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples right.
“As a representative of the people, I have a source of communication with my constituents; I have a source of interaction with my leaders. But in moving this, I must, with all sense of responsibility commend the steps you took this morning concerning this issue of a ban of Twitter. It was very proactive, very timely.
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“But my concern is that as a Nigerian and several other Nigerians out there, the implication is that for the ten days you have given that committee to work, this breach will continue. We don’t even know for how long our interaction with the Executive arm will last.
“While I agree with the submission of the leadership of this House completely, I will only want to add that for the breach of our fundamental human right, particularly the right to a fair hearing, right to freedom of speech and expression, we should urge the Executive arm in the interim to reverse the ban pending our interaction with the Executive.”
But the Speaker ruled him out of order saying since the matter has been referred to a committee already, it was wrong for the matter to be revived again.
Chinda insisted that members of the PDP caucus in the House will continue to tweet in disregard to the ban.
Members of the caucus thereafter stormed out of the green chamber in protest.
By Mayowa Oladeji
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