SERAP drags Buhari to court over plan to monitor WhatsApp calls and messages

The Socioeconomic Rights and Responsibility Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari, urging the court to “declare illegal and unconstitutional the current administration’s plan to track, intercept and monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages”. Nigerians and other people. “

According to SERAP, it seriously violates and violates the right to the preservation of privacy.

The lawsuit followed the proposal in the Complementary Appropriation Law signed in July 2021 to spend N4.87 billion to monitor private calls and messages.

The amount was part of the supplemental budget of N895.8billion approved by the National Assembly.

In complaint number FHC / ABJ / CS / 1240/2021 filed in the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday, SERAP seeks: “a perpetual court order that prevents President Buhari and any other authority, persons or group of persons from illegally monitoring WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages from Nigerians and others. “

The lawsuit was filed by SERAP attorneys Kehinde Oyewumi and Kolawole Oluwadare.

The lawsuit read in part: “The Buhari administration has a legal obligation to protect Nigerians and others against arbitrary interference and violations of their human rights. Monitoring WhatsApp messages, phone calls, and text messages would unleash government agencies to massively monitor people’s communications. “

Joining the lawsuit were Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, and Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

However, the date for the hearing of the lawsuit has not yet been set.

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