Sunday, January 31, 2021 5:33 pm
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Rights activists under the aegis of Edo Civil Society Organizations (EDOCSO), have dragged the federal government to court, over its directive that all mobile phone subscribers should link their phone numbers to their National Identification Numbers (NIN).
The suit with number FHC/B/CS/13/2020, was filed at the Benin Division of the Federal High Court, by counsel to the plaintiffs, Dele Igbinedion, Esq.
Beside the federal government, the National Identity Management Commission; Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; Nigeria Communications Commission; Attorney-General of the Federation are named 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.
Others are: Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Road Safety Commission, and Nigeria Immigration Service named as 5th, 6th and 7th defendant respectively.
In the originating summons, EDOCSO sought to know whether the directive that all mobile phone subscribers should link their phone numbers to their NIN is not a breach of their rights to privacy as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
They further prayed the court to declare the directive as breach of his their rights to privacy and should consequently set aside the said directive by the Federal Government.
“A further declaration that the directive by the Defendants that all the plaintiffs should link phone numbers or SIMs to their National Identification Numbers is a breach of the plaintiffs’ right to privacy as guaranteed by Section 37 of the the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“An order of this Honourable Court setting aside the directive by the Defendants, for being utra vires their powers and therefore unconstitutional, illegal null and of no effect,” the originating summons further read.
The right activists urged the court to further restraint the Federal Government and its agents from blocking the SIM cards of his clients on the grounds that they failed to link their SIM cards to their NIN.
No date has been set for hearing the case.