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CITAD Urges INEC, NITDA, Others To Respect Citizens’ Data Rights,Privacy




By Ozumi Abdul

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its sister government agencies such as National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, National Human Rights Commission, as well as all the security agencies in the country to ensure the protection of citizens data, privacy and respect their rights online, during and after the 2023 general elections.

The call was made during a press conference held at the organization’s head office in Kano on Thursday.

While delivering the text of the press conference, the CITAD Digital Right Manager, Ali Sabo declared that it is important to note that the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms has clearly spelt out that the freedom and privacy of individual online are respected and protected.

He added that these rights correspond to the fundamental rights provided in the Declaration on Human Rights as Freedom of Expression, Right to Information, Freedom of Assembly and Association, as well as the right to personal privacy and dignity.

He said that the UN has recognized the right to Internet as fourth generation rights, and the right to Internet as means to access these offline rights has at its core the issues of Privacy and Personal Data Protection.

Sabo noted that any breach of the above is a negation to Nigerian commitment to Human Rights as well as other international covenants on human rights, including the African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights.

Sabo recalled that before the month of February, preceding the presidential and national assembly elections, that his organization held similar press conference to draw the attentions of the INEC and its sister government agencies to the need to protect and respect the digital rights of the citizens during and after elections.

He said security agencies, especially the police were also enjoined to avoid doing the hatchet job for politicians by unnecessarily arresting citizens as criticisms are part and parcel of democracy, but however regretted that despite this call, that serious cases of intimidations and harassments by the security agents were still recorded in some parts of the country during the last month’s 25, presidential and national assembly elections.

“Gentlemen of the press, you are aware that in the month of February before the presidential and national assembly elections, we held similar press conference were we drew the attention of the INEC and its sisters government agencies on the need to ensure the protection of the citizens data and privacy.

“Similarly, in the same month we called the attention of the Nigerian Police Force against the arbitrary arrest of citizens on the order of some overzealous politicians who misused their offices to trample on the fundamental human rights of the citizens. It is a well-known fact that “criticism is part and parcel of any democracy and it is one of the cardinal pillars through which democracy is being build”, but governments in Nigeria on many occasions, have displayed arrogance, impunity and lack of tolerance where at any slight instance they have ordered the arrest of the citizens for excising their fundamental human rights of expressing their opinions.

“If you could recall, in presidential and national assembly elections which is being held on the 25th of February, 2023 sad incidences happened in some part of the country, where reported cases of intimidation, harassment and malfunctioning of elections materials such as Biomodal Accreditation System (BVAS) were recorded.

“This month’s press conference is necessary at this time looking at what has happened in the presidential and national assembly elections. It is imperative for us as an organization working on the area of upholding electoral integrity, human rights and digital rights in Nigeria to draw the attention of all the stakeholders, especially security agencies and those who have citizens’ data in their custody, on the importance of protecting and safeguarding the rights of the Nigerian citizens, both online and offline and ensuring that their data is safe and not be misused or tempered with.

“This call is necessary because there is genuine information as we indicated in the previous press conference that government agencies have purchased surveillance systems to track and monitor people, most especially activists, journalists, opponents and those they consider threat to their interests. As Civil Society actors we consider this as a threat to not only the fundamental human rights of the citizens but to our democracy as this exposes citizens to privacy abuse.

“Furthermore, it is important to emphasize the need for respecting the privacy of individuals and ensuring that their data is being kept in a safer place and not allow third person to have access to it.

Consequently, he now called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the protection and confidentiality of the people’s mandate and not allow anybody to tamper with it, to ensure that all the election electronic materials such BVAS are in good condition in order to avoid what happened in the presidential and national assembly election

He also enjoined the INEC to ensure the early delivery of election materials to polling units across the country, as well as ensuring that all election results are being uploaded to INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) as stipulated in the 2022 Electoral Act.

The CITAD Digital Right manager also charged the Nigeria Police Force to desist from being used by politicians to intimidate voters, journalists and election observers during the election , while also calling on the National Information Technology Development Agency, Nigeria Communications Commission, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to not allow themselves to be used or transmit citizens data to a third person for any reason unless this request is by a competent court.


Just In: Tinubu Meets Kwankwaso At Aso Rock




President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is currently holding a meeting with one of his key challengers in the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Kwankwaso, who came fourth in the election, was the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

He is the first presidential candidate in the keenly contested election to make a visit to the Aso Rock Villa having held an earlier meeting with the president in Paris before his inauguration on May 29.
Details later..

Daily Trust

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Dr.Y.Z Ya’u Elected as Convener of Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room



Dr YZ Yau

In a highly contested election held at the Abuja Continental Hotel, Dr. Y.Z Ya’u, the Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has emerged as the new Convener of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room.

The announcement was made in a statement released to the press by Ali Sabo, CITAD’s Digital Rights Officer.

The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room is a coalition of more than 70 civil society organizations dedicated to monitoring Nigeria’s electoral process and elections across the nation.

Established in 2010 before the 2011 general elections, the Situation Room undertakes regular analysis and disseminates information on significant developments and events related to electoral conduct in Nigeria.

With a primary focus on improving the quality of Nigeria’s electoral system, the Situation Room aims to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations to engage and monitor the electoral process effectively. It supports coordination and synergy among various election stakeholders, promoting collaboration, proactive advocacy, and prompt action in response to incidents during elections.

The Situation Room’s secretariat is hosted by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), a civil society organization founded by Clement Nwankwo. It serves as a platform for advanced planning, scenario building, evidence-based analysis, constructive engagement with stakeholders, and election observation.

During elections, the Situation Room sets up a physical Election Situation Room comprising an Analysts’ Room and a Technical Room. The Analysts’ Room consists of experts in democracy and governance issues, while the Technical Room houses a Call Centre and a Social Media desk. Field observers deployed nationwide for general elections and off-cycle governorship elections send reports to the Communication Room, where they are verified and published on the Situation Room’s social media platforms.

Incidents reported by field observers are escalated to relevant election stakeholders, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, for prompt resolution. The Situation Room issues statements based on these reports, drawing attention to issues such as logistics challenges, security concerns, voter intimidation, and inducement. It calls upon the appropriate authorities to take immediate action in curbing such challenges.

One of the areas of particular focus for the Situation Room is the collation and transmission of election data, which it often identifies as the “weak link” in the Nigerian electoral system. By closely monitoring this stage of the electoral process, the Situation Room aims to ensure transparency and credibility in the declaration of winners.

With Dr. Y.Z Ya’u as its new Convener, the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room is poised to strengthen its efforts in promoting free, fair, and transparent elections in Nigeria, thereby contributing to the growth and consolidation of democracy in the nation.

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Passage of Police Pension and Training Bills Receives Commendation from Inspector-General of Police



IGP Usman Baba Alkali


In a momentous development, the National Assembly of Nigeria has passed the Police Pension Board Bill and the Nigeria Police Force College, Training School and Institution (Establishment) Bill.


The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has hailed this historic achievement and commended the National Assembly and well-meaning Nigerians for their support.


The passage of these bills is expected to bring about significant changes in the country’s policing system, standardize training procedures, improve police productivity, and alleviate pension-related hardships. The IGP expressed gratitude to all stakeholders involved and assured retirees that efforts are underway to implement the bills and address their long-standing pension concerns.

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