ECOWAS Court sets July 9 as the date for the consolidation of lawsuits concerning Nigeria’s Twitter ban

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The Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States has set July 9, 2021, as the date for a decision on the consolidation of all applications before the court concerning the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Twitter ban.

This was stated by the ECOWAS Court during a virtual court sitting held via zoom on Tuesday.

Two applications against the Federal Government over the Twitter ban were on the day’s cause list.

One was the ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21 application filed by the Registered Trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project against the Federal Government.

The other was the ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21 application filed by the Media Rights Agenda and eight others against the Federal Government on the same issue.

Abdullahi Abubakar, the lawyer representing the Federal Government, informed the court that he has filed a motion to consolidate all four applications on the Twitter ban before the court.

In his motion on notice dated July 5, 2021, Abubakar requested that the court grant him permission to consolidate the hearings of the applications pending before the court, as well as any other orders that the court deems appropriate in the circumstances.

Femi Falana SAN, SERAP’s Counsel, did not object to the application.

According to Falana, the consolidation application will “give the court the opportunity to give one judgment in the matters that were similar in nature and character.”

Mojirayo Ogunlaya, Counsel to Media Rights Agenda, did not object to the consolidation application either.

The ECOWAS Court stated that the parties to the other two cases, ECW/CCJ/APP/24/21 and ECW/CCJ/APP/26/21, which sought to be consolidated, were not present in court.

As a result, the court stated that it cannot issue a consolidation order while they are absent and without hearing from them.

The court also stated that while the applicants in each of the four applications were different, the respondents were all the same.

I. C. Uzoma, a lawyer, also sought to intervene as an amicus curiae in the SERAP suit and sought permission from the court to move his motion because the parties in the suit he was interested in were in court.

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