A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the extension of the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN) registration by two months.
Justice M.A. Onyetenu granted the extension while delivering a ruling in a suit filed by human rights lawyer, Monday Ubani, against the Federal Government, Attorney-General of the Federation, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.
In the suit, Ubani had contended that the initial two weeks ultimatum (now extended to April 6, 2021) given to telecommunications operators to block SIM cards of Nigerians who have not linked their SIM cards with NIN, would infringe on constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression, right to own moveable property and right to life.
He, therefore, prayed the court for an order halting the said ultimatum and extending the deadline. Other prayers made by Ubani include a declaration that the ultimatum given to telecommunications operators by the first, third and fourth respondents to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards that are not linked with NIN is grossly inadequate and will not only bring severe hardship, but will likely infringe on the fundamental rights of the applicant (and millions of other Nigerians) to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Section 39 (1) (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well 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 moveable property, among others.
In his ruling, Justice Onyetenu granted all the prayers made by Ubani.
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