Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,has said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) will decide whether or not to prosecute the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye; the Founder and General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry Worldwide, Pastor William Kumuyi; as well as other violators of the Twitter ban imposed by the Federal Government.
Mohammed disclosed this during an interview with BBC News Africa, on Monday evening.
Adeboye, had in a tweet on Monday said his church is present in over 170 countries and tweeting is in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Hours later, Kumuyi also tweeted that his church has branches across over 100 countries and five continents, therefore it can tweet from anywhere in the world.
When asked whether the government would prosecute Kumuyi and Adeboye for defying its Twitter ban, the minister said: “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. It is in the realm of the Attorney-General to decide who or who not to prosecute.”
The Federal Government has been under fire since last Friday for suspending the operations of the microblogging site after Twitter deleted a controversial civil war post by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The United States, United Kingdom, the European Union Canada,Ireland and Sweden have criticised the Federal Government for infringing on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
But Mohammed said there would be no human rights if the country is set on fire.
“It is because there is a country called Nigeria that they have rights at all. If the country goes on fire, and there is insecurity everywhere, then, there will be no rights for anybody,” he said.
When confronted with the fact that there is already insecurity in Nigeria, the Mohammed said:“Of course, there is.”
“Are we supposed to increase the insecurity with Twitter?” Mohammed asked, adding that agents of destruction have chosen Twitter as a platform to destabilise the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Although mobile network operators have blocked customers from accessing Twitter in compliance with the government’s directive, some Nigerians continue to dare the government by tweeting through Virtual Private Networks (VPN).