Right to privacy of communications

Generally, Nigerians have a right to privacy of their correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications. It also covers issues like telegrams, letters, or packages sent by ordinary or special post, correspondence done through internet, social media and so on. The content of the correspondence is to be viewed by the sender alone except if it is exposed in such a way that other person would know its content.

It is a criminal offence to stop, search, rob, secrete or destroy postal matter or telegram[1]. Every attempt to regulate social media has resulted in serious resistance because right to privacy of communication is likely to be more honored in breach.

However, Section 45 of the Constitution have made this right not absolute thereby making the police, security services etc to tamper with correspondence on grounds of interest of public security, public order, public peace among others.

[1] Section 161 and 162 of Criminal Code