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NIN-SIM: Blocking 72 Million Telephone Lines Unlawful, SERAP Tells Buhari

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Nigerian civil society group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to direct the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and the Nigerian Communications Commission to “immediately reverse the apparently unlawful decision” to block over 72 million active telecommunication subscribers from making calls on their SIMs.

Last week, the Federal Government ordered telecommunications companies to block outgoing calls on all unlinked lines as the deadline for the verification expired on March 31.

Following the directive, over 72 million subscribers were barred from making calls.

In the open letter dated April 9, 2022, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said blocking people from making calls undermined their ability to communicate freely and associate with others.

The letter read in part, “Access to telecommunications services is a condition sine qua non for the effective exercise of human rights. Therefore, the decision to block people from making calls is discriminatory, and a travesty.

“The decision will cause a wide variety of harms to economic activity, personal safety, and disproportionately affect those on the margins of society. This will directly hinder the ability of the government to achieve the 2030 Agenda’s Goal 8 on the promotion of sustained, inclusive, sustainable economic growth.

“Millions of Nigerians including persons with disabilities, elderly citizens, persons living in remote areas have been unable to capture their biometrics, and obtain their National Identity Numbers [NINs] due to logistical challenges, administrative and bureaucratic burdens, as well as the persistent collapse of the national grid.

“This has resulted in the discrimination of marginalized or vulnerable groups.

“We would be grateful if the decision to block people from making calls on their SIMs is reversed within 48 hours of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions in the public interest to ensure full compliance with human rights standards.

“The rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and freedom of association, whether offline or online promote the democratic ideal by allowing citizens to voice their concerns, challenge governmental institutions, and hold government accountable for its actions.

“The democratic ideal rationale also recognizes the necessity of having a well-informed citizenry to participate in the democratic process.

“We support any lawful means to address the growing insecurity across the country. However, while the authorities have a legal responsibility to protect, ensure and secure the rights to life and property, any such responsibility ought to be discharged in conformity with human rights standards.”

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Release ‘Mama Biafra’ From Detention, She’s Mother To Me – Nnamdi Kanu Tells Buhari Government

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The detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has asked the Muhammadu Buhari government to release Mrs Ukamaka Ejezie, popularly known as “Mama Biafra” from the detention of the Department of State Services, Abuja.

According to Kanu, Mama Biafra, a septuagenarian, was arrested during the IPOB leader’s last court appearance in Abuja on May 18.



Kanu, who spoke from the DSS detention, also expressed rage over the spate of bloodletting and insecurity in the South-East.

Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, relayed the message on Monday evening in an interview with Vanguard after visiting the IPOB leader in detention.

Kanu also told his brother (Prince) that he was saddened by the reports of killings across the South-East.

The IPOB leader added that the detained Mama Biafra had been acting as his mother since his parents died.

He said that the old woman committed no crime for coming to Abuja to solidarise with him at the court when she was arrested.

“I saw her at the DSS detention cell after her clothes were washed and spread on the wall. I demand that she be released because she committed no crime. She is an old woman and since my mother died, I have taken her as my mother. The DSS should release her,” Kanu was quoted as saying.

Kanu urged all to ensure there was peace in South-East, adding that those behind the insecurity in the zone did not mean well for the people.

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BREAKING: Ruling Party, APC Again Adjusts Timetable For National Assembly, Governorship Primaries

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has yet again revised the timetable and schedule of activities for its governorship, State House of Assembly, Senate, and House of Representatives primary elections.

The development comes a day after the National Working Committee postponed the screening of the presidential screening exercise.



The revised timetable was announced by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka, on Monday night at the APC Secretariat in Abuja.

Morka stated that the recently cleared 145 governorship and State House of Assembly aspirants will test their popularity at the primaries that will be determined by state and local government delegates respectively on Thursday, May 26.

In the statement obtained by SaharaReporters, the APC secretary said, “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday, 23rd of May, 2022, approved a revised Timetable/Schedule of Activities for the Governorship, State House of Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives Primary Elections as follows:

“Thursday, 26th of May, 2022

Governorship – (State Delegates)

State House of Assembly – (LGA Delegates)

“Friday, 27th of May, 2022

Senate – (LGA Delegates)

Saturday, 28th of May, 2022

House of Representatives – (LGA Delegates)

“Please Note that the Special Convention for the Presidential Primary will be held as scheduled on Sunday, 29th – Monday, 30th of May, 2022.” 

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