Reports have started to emerged that the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services [DSS] and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited [NIGCOMSAT] are, on behalf of the Nigerian government, possibly hacking and snooping into the phones of over 120 million active Nigerian GSM users.
According to PremiumTimes, this is quite possible with the aid of an over N11 billion state of the art gadget procured and installed to them by President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was also learnt that on August 31, 2010, less than six months after he became acting president, Mr. Jonathan awarded an approximately N6billion contract to an Israeli-owned but Abuja-based security firm, V & V Nigeria Limited, for the “Procurement of strategic GSM Tracking System for the Nigeria Police Force and expansion/upgrade of the existing system with the DSS”.
The project, awarded to the contractor by the Ministry of Police Affairs, was jointly hosted by the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), under the Nigeria Police Reform Programme.
Information about these new surveillance contracts emerged about 22 months after PREMIUM TIMES exposed a similar $40 million surveillance contract the administration secretly, also in open violation of lawful contracting procedures, awarded to an Israeli firm, Elbit Systems, with headquarters in Haifa.
At the time, Nigerian rights activists considered the project one of the most far-reaching policies ever designed in the country’s history to invade the privacy of citizens.
The clandestine programme allows the government spy on citizens’ computers and Internet communications and emails under the guise of intelligence gathering and national security.
Embarrassed by the widespread national outrage that arose after this newspaper exclusively exposed the secret contract, the presidency had summoned the management of Elbit Systems for a meeting to explain why the contract should not be revoked after it allegedly breached a confidential clause in the contract.