The Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) on Monday criticised the mandate by the Federal Government to identify internet users via linkage to the National Identification Number (NIN).
This mandate had allegedly been floated by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami which led to HURIWA’s stance on its violation of rights to privacy.
Pantami had said that the NIN would enable the Federal Government and security agencies know the identity of Internet users in the country.
Nonetheless, HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, said the minister and the Federal Government are seeking the demolition of the core essence of constitutional democracy, which is the right to privacy.
HURIWA said, “In section 37 of the Constitution, the right to privacy is recognised as a fundamental right.
“The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications is guaranteed and protected.
“The value of privacy must be determined on the basis of its importance to society, not in terms of individual rights.
“The right to privacy is one of the fundamental human rights entrenched in the Nigerian Constitution. Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution provides that: “The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.”
Consequently, the organisation pledged to seek legal redress in order to overturn the mandate.