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HomeGistNIN Linkage: Man Drags MTN, Glo, Airtel, Others To Court Over Ban...

NIN Linkage: Man Drags MTN, Glo, Airtel, Others To Court Over Ban On Phone Lines

A human rights advocate, Olukoya Ogungbeje has reportedly lodged a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, contesting the recent action taken by telecommunications companies in Nigeria to block the phone lines of citizens.

Recall that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently directed telcos in the country to block lines of certain individuals who have ‘refused’ to link their mobile lines with their respective National Identification Numbers (NIN).

In the suit, however, before the federal high court, Ogungbeje named the NCC, the commission’s CEO, Dr. Aminu Mada, and MTN Nigeria Communications Plc as defendants, Naija News understands.

Additionally, other parties involved in the case are Airtel Networks Nigeria Ltd., Globacom Ltd., and Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. (EMTS 9 Mobile).

According to the applicant’s sworn statement, the respondents had issued a warning in January about the potential deactivation of mobile lines belonging to Nigerians who had not linked their phone numbers with their NIN.

Ogungbaje claims that after receiving this threat, he took legal action and obtained a court order on February 22nd, which prohibited the respondents from blocking or deactivating the phone lines of Nigerians until the lawsuit was resolved.

According to the applicant, he was shocked to discover that on February 28th, his mobile lines and those of many other Nigerians had been blocked by the respondents, despite the existence of a valid court order.

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Therefore, the applicant now requests a declaration stating that the respondents’ actions of blocking and deactivating the phone lines of Nigerians from February 28th until the present date, in defiance of a valid court order, are both wrongful and illegal.

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He also seeks a declaration affirming that the respondents, as entities established by law, are bound by the authority of the court and its judicial powers, and are obligated to comply with its rulings.

Consequently, he requests an order to nullify all directives that restrict the phone lines of Nigerians.

The petitioner additionally seeks a directive instructing the defendants to promptly unlock and remove any restrictions on the phone lines of Nigerians who have been affected.

He is demanding the amount of N10 billion as punitive damages from the telecommunications companies for their illegal limitations on the phone lines of Nigerians.

The petitioner also requests a permanent injunction preventing the respondents from taking any additional measures or actions against the affected individuals in connection with the circumstances of the case.

A hearing date for the new lawsuit has not yet been scheduled as of the time of filing this report.

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