A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has halted the National Identity Number (NIN) registration ultimatum and ordered the extension of the deadline by two months effective from Tuesday, March 23.
The presiding judge, Justice Maureen Onyetenu gave the ruling on Tuesday in a fundamental right suit filed by legal practitioner, Monday Ubani, against the Nigerian government, the Attorney General of the Federation, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.
The former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch said the April 6 ultimatum given by the authorities for the registration of their Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) was inadequate and therefore prayed that the court extend the deadline.
The suit read: “A declaration that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising cases in Nigeria presently, the deadline was given by the 1st, 3rd and 4th Respondents to the Applicant and over 200 million Nigerians to register their SIM Cards with NIN, will lead to a rush, thereby resulting to clustering of the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens in a NIN registration centre, subjecting him to the possibility of easily contracting the Covid-19 virus, and such will amount to a violation of his fundamental right to life as protected by section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“An order halting the said ultimatum given by the 1st, 3rd and 4th Respondents to telecommunications operators to block all SIM cards that are not registered with NIN.”
In his ruling, Justice Onyetenu granted all the reliefs sought by Mr Ubani.