A human rights lawyer and former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commissioner (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lack the right to block a Nigerian citizen on Twitter
He said this in reaction to an alarm raised by one Uchenna @Demoore90210 on Twitter alleging that he has been blocked by INEC. The said Uchenna sought for intervention for INEC to unblock him.
“Urgent request please. Please can someone help me intervene and ask the INEC Twitter handle manager to unblock me. Please. Thank you.
@AriyoAristotle @emmaikumeh @segalink @ChidiOdinkalu @segalink @Mazigburugburu1 @adeyanjudeji @MrTomide @YarKafanchan https://t.co/rXXxJrDJl3” Uchenna tweeted
There’s no constitutional right to hear only things we like or from people we find agreeable. https://t.co/yKGnetQadA
— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) September 20, 2020
Prof Odinkalu in reaction said the action of INEC is unlawful and counterproductive as there is no right for INEC to hear only views that it agrees with.
“I’m not sure it’s lawful for a public institution like @inecnigeria to block a #Nigerian citizen on twitter. I can also see how that can be counter-productive.
“There’s no constitutional right to hear only things we like or from people we find agreeable.”
Prof. Odinkalu added that access to information from public institutions is a constitutional right and as far as the Twitter account of those institutions are maintained using public funds, then they lack the right to block a citizen.
“The same principle applies to all public institutions. Access to information from public institutions is a constitutional right. As long as the institutional Twitter feed is maintained with public money, blocking citizens from it cannot be lawful.”
As at the time of reporting this news, TNL is yet to confirm why INEC blocked the Twitter user.