Bayelsa Governor Paid N100M To Monitor Nigerian Phones And Computers

Bayelsa Governor Paid N100M To Monitor Nigerian Phones And Computers

The Bayelsa state government has allegedly paid close to N100 million to an Italian firm, Hacking Team, to hack mobile devices and computers of Nigerians, according to leaked internal data from the firm.

Hacking Team is known worldwide for equipping governments with tools to hack citizens’ computers and phones and had itself been hacked by an unknown group which released 415 gigabyte of Hacking Team's internal data to the public.

Bayelsa Governor Paid N100M To Monitor Nigerian Phones And Computers
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State

Apart from working for the Bayelsa state government, the firm has also been involved with repressive governments, including Sudan, Russia, and Bahrain.

According to Premium Times, the documents show that Bayelsa state government paid the team an incredible sum of N98 million to look into the affairs of Nigerians.

READ ALSO: TOUCHING: How Naval Officer Died Saving The Lives Of His Colleagues In Boko Haram War

The contract was signed in late 2013, as of now the details of the work carried out by the firm for the Bayelsa state government is yet to be ascertained.

The contract was classed as “intelligence ” – the same class with contracts the firm unlawfully held with Russia and Sudan.

The N98m is roughly equal to the amount paid by the Russian government to the firm for the maintenance of its Remote Control System. And worth more than what Turkey, Columbia and Bahrain paid to the firm.

READ ALSO: ‘Sylva Won’t Run For Bayelsa Governorship Election’

Hacking Team is noted as developers of intrusive softwares and ironically had their Twitter account hacked by the hackers who revealed their business deals.

Hacking Team had boasted of their Remote Control Systems, which they said could even compromise most operating systems, except iOS – but including jail-broken iOS.

They even had a video commercial in which they boasted of their software's ability to hack offline and encrypted computers and smartphones, even if the target was outside the government’s “monitoring domain”.

Reporters Without Borders named the firm as one of the Enemies of the  Internet index due to its primary surveillance tool, Da Vinci.

READ ALSO: Police Intensify Security At Worship Centres

Co-founder David Vincenzetti had in one of the leaked internal emails described the firm’s product as the “evilest” technology ever developed on earth.

As for why the Bayelsa state governor, paid for such service, is still unclear for now but during the time of the purchase of the service, the state wasn't under any external cyber aggression.

Bayelsa State Governor had notoriously persecuted an individual over critical Facebook comments during the run-up to the 2015 general elections.

This is not the first time a Bayelsa state governor has been linked with a hacking team, former governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha allegedly signed a contract with Israeli owned V&V, which is responsible for the supply of many government hacking tools in Nigeria.

See details on Premium Times 


Khadijah Thabit avatar

Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email:

Online view pixel