The federal government has been sued for blocking telecom consumers who are yet to link their National Identification Number (NIN) to their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM).
The suit was filed by the Socio-Economic Rights & Accountability Project (SERAP), with the suit number FHC/L/CS/711/2022 filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The group is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Communication, Isa Pantami, from the continuous line blockage.
Furthermore, SERAP demands adequate infrastructure and logistics to allow Nigerians, including those with disabilities, the elderly, and individuals living in remote areas, to capture their data and conclude registration to obtain NIN.
According to the group, barring lines is not consistent with the Nigerian constitution [as amended] and the nation's international obligations to respect, protect, and promote socio-economic rights.
SERAP maintains that the decision to block telecom consumers from making calls is "discriminatory and a travesty."
Pantami and the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, are joined in the suit as respondents.
Filed by SERAP's lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, part of the suit reads: "While Nigerian authorities have a responsibility to secure the rights to life and property, any such responsibility ought to be discharged in conformity with human rights standards.
“The blocking of people from making calls constitutes impermissible restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, information, and association."
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