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Social Media Bill: OPAN Trustees Drag Senate To Court
Wednesday, December 09, 2015

 BEVERLY HILLS, December 09, (THEWILL)

 

As controversy continues to trail the social media bill before the Senate, the registered trustees of Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) has dragged the upper chamber of the National Assembly to a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over the bill.

In the originating summons Wednesday brought under Order 3 Rules 6 and 7 of the Federal High Court (civil procedure) Rules 2009, OPAN, represented by its counsel, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, is praying the court to, within 30 days of service, order the Senate to appear before the court for the determination of the following questions:

“Whether, in view of the provisions of sections 39(1)&(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the defendant, their officers, members, committees or privies can lawfully debate, consider and pass into law a bill for an act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith.

“Whether, in view of the provisions of sections 39(1)&(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the proposed bill for an act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith is not an attempt to criminalise free speech and freedom of expression of the plaintiff.”

Other consequential reliefs being sought by the plaintiff include: A declaration that in view of the provisions of section 39(1)&(2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Defendant, her officers, members, agents or privies cannot lawfully pass into Law a bill for an act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith as presently constructed and/or drafted.

A declaration that the passage into law of the proposed bill for an act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith will amount to the violation freedom of expression of the plaintiff as guaranteed under section 39(1)&(2) 1999 constitution of Nigeria (as amended).

An order of injunction against the defendant restraining her from further debating and considering proposed bill for an act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith which violates section 39(1)&(2) 1999 constitution of Nigeria(as amended).

An order of perpetual injunction against the defendant restraining her from passing into law the proposed bill for an act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith which violates section 39(1)&(2) 1999 constitution of Nigeria(as amended)

Such further or other orders as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

The Senate has been widely criticised for its resolve to pass the controversial law that many view as a desperate bid to gag free speech.

 

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