The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN on Thusday held a meeting with the High Commissioner of the Great Britain, Ms. Catriona Laing, in which issues on Twitter ban was discussed.
A statement by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu, says the meeting which lasted for almost an hour was also to discuss bilateral issues relating to Asset Recovery, Anti-corruption crusade, amendment of the Electoral Act, the Audit Bill, Petroleum Industry Bill and counter terrorism approaches.
Malami, according to his SA said the fundamental interest and objective of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was to leverage on the bills to enhance value in terms of creating amiable environment for investment, protecting the public interest for the maximum benefit of the country.
Malami noted that public interest has been the uppermost consideration within which the context of freedom of expressions should be regulated and reasonable restrictions to freedom of expressions are locally and internationally recognized.
“Our government is not averse to freedom. Freedom is not borderless. Freedom of expression must not be used in such a manner that incites citizens to violence or calls for an overthrow of a democratically elected government. There are bounds to freedom within the laws,” he said.
On the Twitter ban in the country, Malami said the government has established a committee on the matter and that the company has approached the government over the issue.
He maintained that the interest of Nigerians matters most for any company that wants do business in the country.
“If you want to operate as a business entity in Nigeria, you must do so within the context of Nigerian laws, nothing offensive or that breach the Nigerian laws should be entertained”.
On Petroleum Industry Bill, the Minister said necessary steps have been taken to ensure the pending bills are transmitted to the President for accent.
Malami said the essence of the amendment of the Electoral Act was to enhance the democratic system thereby aiming at addressing delays in judicial determination of pre-election matters, as well as ensuring justice and fairness in the conduct of election processes including party primaries.
“To strengthen the fight against corruption the government came up with the Proceeds of Crime Bill and Audit Bill among others’’.
In her remarks, the High Commissioner, Laing, thanked the Minister for the clarification of the issues, maintaining that the steps taken in the fight against corruption and electoral reforms are really encouraging.