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Wednesday, 28 February 2024 07:26

Court Stops Telcos From Barring SIMs Over NIN-SIM Linkage


The Federal High Court in Lagos, through Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, has restrained telecommunication operators in Nigeria from deactivating or barring any line or SIM that has not been linked to the NIN by their subscribers.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa ruled on a suit filed by lawyer Olukoya Ogungbeje, who sought to stop the move to disconnect subscribers over NIN–SIM linkage, stating that it infringed on his fundamental rights.

Ogungbeje, in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/667/23, named the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, and Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited as respondents.

“That the respondents are aware of the appellant/applicant’s appeal to the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, as the respondents have since been duly served with the appellant/applicant’s Notice of Appeal.

“That despite the pendency of the appellant/applicant’s appeal, efforts are underway by the respondents, specifically on the 28th of February 2024, to ensure further and outright barring, deactivating, and restricting of SIM cards and phone lines of the applicant and that of Nigerian citizens.

“That the appellant/applicant’s appeal to the Court of Appeal of Nigeria has a high degree of success against the respondents.

“There is a need to preserve the rest of the subject matter of the appeal pending the hearing and determination of the appellant/applicant’s appeal at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria.

“That the appellant/applicant is desirously interested in diligently pursuing the instant appeal that has raised a novel and recondite issue substantially jurisprudential, constituting an exceptional circumstance in which this Honourable Court can grant an application of this nature.

“That the court has the power and jurisdiction to grant an application of this nature in the interest of justice,” he stated.

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