Court orders extension of NIN-SIM linkage by 2 months

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A has ordered extension of the deadline to link identification (NIN) with SIM by months.

Justice Maureen Onyetenu ordered the extension while delivering a ruling in a filed by Monday Ubani, former vice-president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

In December 2020, Ubani filed a against , 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 .

The human rights lawyer had argued the initial -week — December 16 to December 30, 2020 — deadline issued by to telecommunication operators for NIN will infringe the fundamental human rights of Nigerians and expose them to .

“That the weeks (16th December to 30th December 2020) ultimatum given to telecommunications operators by the 1st, 3rd and 4th Respondents to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards that are registered with Identity (NIN), is grossly inadequate and will only work severe hardship,” the said.

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

However, had extended the deadline to January 19, 2021 for subscribers with NIN to link with their SIM, and February 9, 2021, for those without NIN, and now April 6.

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