Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has given President Muhammadu Buhari a 72-hours ultimatum to reverse the decision to bar the unlinked mobile lines of 72 million Nigerians from making calls.
In an open letter dated 9 April 2022 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP urged Buhari to direct the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to immediately reverse the decision, insisted that it was an infringement on the rights of expression of Nigerians.
“Blocking people from making calls undermines their ability to communicate freely and associate with others. It infringes on their rights to freedom of expression and family life, as well as socio-economic rights. The decision will have a chilling effect, dissuading the free expression of ideas and information.
“The decision to block people from making calls is also inconsistent and incompatible with the country’s international legal obligations to respect, protect, promote and facilitate economic and social rights. The decision contradicts the tenets of the rule of law, and democratic society.
“Immediately reversing the decision would be in conformity with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations. Reversing the decision would also improve the confidence of the international community in human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria.”
WikkiTimes had on April 4 reported that President Buhari ordered telecommunication companies in the country to bar all outgoing calls from unlinked NIN-SIM lines.
Following the directive, over 72 million subscribers have now been barred from making calls using their SIMs.