A Federal supreme court sitting in Lagos has ordered the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number, NIN by two months.
Justice Maureen Onyetenu granted the extension while delivering a ruling during a fundamental right suit filed by a legal practitioner, Monday Ubani against the federal, the Attorney General of the Federation, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and therefore the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.
In the suit, Ubani had contended that the initial fortnight ultimatum (now extended to April 6, 2021) given to telecommunication operators to dam SIM Cards of Nigerians who haven’t registered their SIM Card with NIN if allowed, will infringe on his constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, right to have a moveable property and right to life.
He, therefore, asked the court for an order halting the said ultimatum and increasing the deadline.
The former NBA Ikeja Chairman also asked the court for; a declaration that the ultimatum was given to telecommunications operators by the first, 3rd, and 4th Respondents to dam all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards that aren’t registered with NIN, is grossly inadequate and can not only work severe hardship but will likely infringe on the elemental rights of the Applicant (and many other Nigerians) to freedom of expression as guaranteed by section 39(1)(2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also 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.
“A declaration that insight of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore the rising cases in Nigeria presently, the deadline given by the first, 3rd and 4th Respondents to the Applicant and over 200 million Nigerians to register their SIM Cards with NIN, will cause a rush, thereby resulting to clustering of the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens during a NIN registration center, subjecting him to the likelihood of easily contracting the covid-19 virus, and such will amount to a violation of his fundamental right to life as protected by section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“An order halting the said ultimatum given by the first, 3rd, and 4th Respondents to telecommunication operators to dam all SIM Cards that aren’t registered with NIN.”
In his ruling, Justice Onyetenu granted all the reliefs sought by Ubani.