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Reps summon Information minister over Twitter ban as PDP members walk out

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The house of representatives on Tuesday summoned Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, over the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

It came as members of Representatives Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the house staged a walkout of plenary protesting the ban.

PDP Caucus leader, Rep Kingsley Chinda, alongside 19 PDP members said: “We walked out of plenary because because we want the immediate reversal of the Federal Government ban on Twitter before the legislature/Executive deliberate on it.

At its sitting, the house mandated its committees on communication, justice, information and culture, and national security and intelligence to immediately commence an investigation into the suspension of the microblogging site.

Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, it has been “inundated with comments about the decision, requests for intervention and criticism”.

“The House of Representatives recognises that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important tool for communication and commerce in Nigeria, particularly amongst the younger generation who have used these networks for enterprise and innovation with great success,” he said.

“It is in service of our obligations under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our moral duty to the Nigerian people, that the leadership of the House has decided to mandate the House Committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to immediately commence an investigation to determine the circumstances of the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

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