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A West African court has restrained the Nigerian government from “unlawfully” prosecuting people from using Twitter, while it is considering a legal action launched by activists and journalists seeking to reverse a ban on the social media giant. The ruling follows a suit filed against the government by dozens of human rights and civil society groups who demanded an end to the ban, describing the decision “an attempt to silence criticism of the government.” 

Nigeria banned Twitter on June 4, 2021 after it deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, that threatened to punish a separatist group for attacks on government buildings. The State has said it will prosecute Nigerians found using the social media network. The government’s move prompted an immediate backlash among social media users and human rights activists, with #NigeriaTwitterBan and #KeepitOn trending on the platform as Nigerians used virtual private networks to access the site.