FACT CHECK: Did Lai Mohammed Say Adeboye, Kumuyi Will Be Prosecuted For Defying Twitter Ban?

2 weeks ago

It is not news anymore that On Tuesday, an online report claimed that Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and William Kumuyi, general superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, will be arrested and prosecuted for defying the Twitter ban.

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The report claimed that the minister made the statement when he spoke with BBC Africa Focus.

Twitter was suspended two days after it deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s handle for violating its policy.

While Nigerians were still reeling from the news of the suspension, another bombshell was dropped– that Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) had ordered the prosecution of violators of the ban.

However, many Nigerians, including prominent clerics, have defied the ban and have been able to access Twitter through the use of the virtual private network (VPN).

Commenting on the issue via his Twitter handle, Enoch Adeboye had said tweeting is in accordance with the United Nations charter on human rights.

In the same vein, William Kumuyi took to Twitter to say his church will continue to operate its account on the platform because of its global audience.

In the wake of the tweets posted by both clerics, the report attributed to the minister of information emanated.

How True Is The Report?

Checks by TheCable showed that while speaking with BBC Africa Focus on Monday, the minister was asked how the government would “proceed with people who defy the Twitter ban” with reference to Adeboye.

Lai replied that it is within the purview of the AGF to determine who should be prosecuted.

“The attorney general has made it clear that if anybody violates the regulation, that such a person will be prosecuted and this is not about any particular person. I think it is in the realm of the attorney general to decide who or who not to prosecute,” he had said.

VERDICT: The online report is misleading as the minister’s statement was misrepresented. Lai did not specifically say that Adeboye and Kumuyi will be arrested and persecuted.

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