Court approves 2 months extension to link NIN to SIM

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Justice Maureen Onyetenu of the Lagos Federal High Court has ordered the extension of the deadline to link national identification number (NIN) with SIM by two months.

This was stated by Justice Onyetenu while delivering a ruling in a lawsuit filed by the former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Monday Ubani.

Ubani filed a suit against the Federal Government, Attorney-General of the Federation, Nigerian Communications Commission, and Minister of Communication and Digital Economy over the initial deadline of December 30 2020 set for the NIN-SIM registration, in December 2020.

The human rights lawyer had argued the initial two-weeks deadline issued by the Federal Government to telecommunication operators for NIN registration will infringe on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians and expose them to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“That the two weeks (16 December to 30 December 2020) ultimatum given to telecommunications operators by the 1st, 3rd and 4th Respondents to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards that are not registered with National Identity Number (NIN), is grossly inadequate and will not only work severe hardship,” the suit said.

“But will likely infringe on the fundamental rights of the Applicant (and millions of other Nigerians) to freedom of expression as guaranteed by section 39(1)(2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as violate section 44(1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which prohibits the compulsory acquisition of right or interest over the moveable property.”

The ruling on Tuesday granted all the prayers of Ubani and ordered a two-month extension effective from 23 March.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government extended the deadline to 19 January 2021, for subscribers with NIN to link it with their SIM, and 9 February 2021, for those without NIN.

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