NIN-SIM Link: SERAP drags President Buhari to court over 75m blocked lines| |nigeria news today headlines update today

NIN-SIM Link: SERAP drags President Buhari to court over 75m blocked lines

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to court over the failure to unblock the phone lines of over 75 million telecommunication subscribers barred from making calls on their  Subscriber Identity Modules, SIMs.

Recall Last week, the Federal Government ‘ordered’ telecommunications companies to block outgoing calls on all unlinked lines, as the deadline for verification expired on March 31.

SERAP is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Buhari and the Minister of Communication, Isa Pantami, from the continuous blockage of lines.

In suit number FHC/L/CS/711/2022 filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, SERAP said the government order was inconsistent with the requirements of legality.

It demanded adequate infrastructure and logistics to allow Nigerians, including persons with disabilities, the elderly and persons living in remote areas, to capture their data and conclude registration to obtain NIN.

SARAP argues that barring lines was inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], and the country’s international obligations to respect, protect, and promote socio-economic rights.

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The organization also maintained that, “Where agencies of government are allowed to operate at large and at their whims and caprices in the guise of performing their statutory duties, the end result will be anarchy, and authoritarianism, leading to the loss of the much cherished and constitutionally guaranteed freedom and liberty.”

“The rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and freedom of association, whether offline or online, promote the democratic ideal by allowing citizens to voice their concerns, challenge governmental institutions, and hold the government accountable for its actions.

“The blocking of people from making calls constitutes impermissible restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, information, and association”, it reads.

 

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