Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has condemned the idea of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami and the Federal Government introducing the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) to identify Internet users in the country, saying that it violates the constitutional rights to privacy.
Pantami had said that the NIN would enable the Federal Government and security agencies to know the identity of Internet users in the country.
But 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.
Citing section 37 of the Constitution, they said that the right to privacy is recognised as a fundamental right.
According to the group, the privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is guaranteed and protected.
HURIWA affirmed that 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,” HURIWA argued.
HURIWA, therefore decided to proceed to the court of law to seek the appropriate quashing of the NIN Policy, which interferes with the citizens’ enjoyment of their constitutional right to privacy.