Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nigeria: October 1 - Plans to Shut Down Telephone Networks Illegal -- Lawyers

29 September 2011

Senior Advocate of Nigeria Sebastian Hon and human rights activist Femi Falana have challenged the plan to shut down telecommunications services in Abuja on October 1 over security concerns.

The duo, who spoke at separate interviews with LEADERSHIP, said neither the federal government nor the service providers have the right to shut down telephone services.

LEADERSHIP investigation revealed that, following threats by members of Boko Haram sect to carry out bomb attacks in Abuja, the government was considering shutting down phone services.

The group has claimed responsibility for several bomb attacks which claimed many lives and destroyed property worth billions of naira in many parts of the north, including Abuja.

As part of measures to prevent members of the sect from sharing information and using mobile phones to detonate explosives, the government has ordered phone lines to be shut down.

A similar directive was given to telecommunications operators during the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29. Abuja residents were barred from making or receiving calls. Neither the government nor operators informed subscribers that services would be suspended for over 12 hours on the day of the presidential inauguration.

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