NCC Faces N10bn Lawsuit Over SIM-NIN Policy


NCC Faces N10bn Lawsuit Over SIM-NIN Policy

A Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, has filed a N10 billion lawsuit against the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and its Executive Vice Chairman, Dr Aminu Maida, over the blocking of phone lines not linked to the National Identification Number (NIN). The suit, marked FHC/L/CS/363/2024, alleges inconvenience, discomfort, injury, and loss of business opportunities suffered by Nigerians due to the NCC’s directive.

Ogungbeje seeks an order compelling the respondents to issue a public apology to affected Nigerians and to immediately activate, unblock, and unrestrict affected phone lines/SIMs. He also demands N10 billion in damages for the violation of citizens’ rights.

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The NCC had directed telecom operators to bar subscribers not linked to NIN by February 28, 2024, despite a court order restraining them from doing so. In response, Ogungbeje argues that this directive violates citizens’ rights to fair hearing and seeks its reversal.

Reacting to the lawsuit, the NCC stated that it has not been served but will defend its actions in court, emphasizing the national security implications of the SIM-NIN policy and the operators’ legal obligation to comply.

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Speaking in an interview, the Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Reuben Mouka, said, “The commission has not received any notice on the new suit yet. In the previous one filed, we were not mentioned as respondents maybe that is why he is initiating another process which will go its normal course. If 10 people go to court today because they are barred, we have no choice but to follow them to court. If we are called to court, we will go there and defend ourselves and our actions.

“The National Identity Management Commission policy of SIM linkage is a policy of the federal government and it is a security issue and the operators are legally bound by this directive because it pertains to national security. They are also law-abiding organisations too.”

Read Also: NCC Announces Resolution of Interconnect Debt Dispute Between Glo and MTN

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