The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, said Nigerians who are bypassing the restriction on Twitter with Virtual Private Network (VPN) are at risk.
He stated that VPN users are putting their data, including bank details, at risk.
The minister spoke at the investigative hearing into the ban of Twitter organized by the committees on Information, Justice, Communications and National Security and Intelligence.
It would be recalled that the committees were given the mandate by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila on the 8th of June following the ban.
The committee was mandated to determine the legality of the ban, the circumstances surrounding it and its duration.
At the hearing, the Minister said, “If you are using VPN, you are exposing your data, including your bank account, If you are using VPN and you think you are hurting Lai Mohammed, you are hurting yourself.”
Since the announcement of the ban, Nigerians have been using VPN to access Twitter. Some notable members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) like Governor Nasir Elrufai Kaduna, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Akin Alabi, a member of the House of Representatives, have all tweeted after the ban.
This position seems to contradict the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, who had earlier instructed the department of state prosecution and the Nigerian Communications Commission to commence prosecution of those bypassing the directive of the government.
Lai Mohammed also stated that Twitter will only be allowed to resume operation in Nigeria after registering as a Nigerian company.
He noted that Twitter must register with the Corporate Affairs Commission in line with the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
Speaking at the end of the hearing, the Chairman of the committee, Olusegun Odebunmi, said the hearing is only a fact-finding one and a report will be presented to the House.