NIN: 5 Days To Extended Deadline, Court Bars FG From Deactivating Unlinked SIM Cards

A Federal High Court in Lagos State has barred the Nigerian Government from deactivating subscribers who are yet to link their SIM cards to a National Identity Number (NIN) ahead of the expiration of a deadline to do so.

As of the time of filing this report, there was no update from relevant authorities on the extension or otherwise of the April 6 deadline for all telecoms subscribers to link their SIMs to a NIN.

Recall that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State had ordered the federal government to extend the deadline following a suit filed by a former National Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association and human rights lawyer, Mr Monday Ubani, challenging the legality of the timeline.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy were said to be Respondents in the matter.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had on February 1st issued a directive on extension of the deadline to April 6th.

But checks by our correspondent on the official websites of the NCC, NIMC and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy on Thursday, showed no latest update on the NIN registration exercise with regards to the deadline.

It was the statement that fixed the April 6 NIN registration deadline that was still captured on the NIMC Website, as at when this report was filed.

The Federal Government has now been barred from deactivating subscribers who are yet to meet the deadline.

Justice M.A Onyetenu on March 23 ordered relevant authorities to shift the deadline by two months.

“I therefore make the following orders: An order halting the deadline ultimatum of 9/4/21 given by the 1st (Federal Government) 3rd (NCC) and 4th (Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy) respondents to block all SIM cards that are not registered with the National Identity Numbers at the expiration of deadline.

“An order directing the 1st, 3rd and 4th respondents to extend the deadline for the registration of SIM cards with NIN for at least another two months from the date of this judgment,” the judge stated as quoted by The Punch.

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