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Regardless of what @adeyanjudeji may have said, our position is that criminal defamation is unlawful, and has in fact been used by @PoliceNG and some governors to criminalize freedom of expression. This should never be allowed to continue in a society governed by the rule of law.
The UN Human Rights Committee a body that interprets the ICCPR has said that all public figures are legitimately subject to public criticism and that there should be no prohibition of criticism of public institutions. Defamation should be treated as a civil, not a criminal matter
In circumstances of public debate concerning public figures in the political domain and public institutions, the value placed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which Nigeria has ratified) upon uninhibited expression is particularly high.
Thus, the mere fact that forms of expression are considered to be insulting to a public figure is not sufficient to justify the imposition of penalties. Individuals should not face imprisonment for the purpose of protecting reputations.
All public figures, including those exercising the highest political authority such as presidents etc, are legitimately subject to criticism and political opposition.
@PoliceNG @MBuhari @ProfOsinbajo
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