Two years after PREMIUM TIMES revealed that four South-South states were running illegal surveillance programmes to intrude into privacy of their residents and target opposition, latest findings by this newspaper suggest that the states have not backed down on the controversial operation.

Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States were named in the 2015 investigation that uncovered how governors in the four states, which are specifically located in the Niger Delta, procured cutting-edge spying devices to play the role of Big Brother over residents of their respective states, especially politically active opponents.

National Security Agency sources said none of the states received approval to deploy the surveillance equipment.

The subsisting policy of the Nigerian government requires that any public or private organisation with an intention to purchase surveillance equipment must secure End User Certificate from the NSA before doing so.

The unrestrained exploits of the politicians underscore the susceptibility of private phone conversations of Nigerians.

The revelations, our previous report said, highlight how easy it could be for individuals and organisations – with enough financial and political clout— to acquire and deploy hi-tech hacking tools and illegally collect private data from targeted Nigerians…