Former Second vice-president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Barrister Monday Ubani has urged the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, to advise the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, to immediately comply with a Federal High Court judgment extending the time for National Identify Number, NIN, by two months.
Ubani had contended that the initial ultimatum 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.
Ubani also noted that a declaration that the ultimatum given to telecommunications operators 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 Nigerians.
In his ruling, Justice Onyetenu granted all the prayers made by Ubani.
In a letter dated 30th March, 2021 and addressed to the AGF, Ubani asked the AGF to properly advice the Minister to respect the court judgment and announce the extension of the new court ordered deadline.
He also pleaded with Malami to advise Pantami to review his stand on the ultimatum for the registration of SIM Cards with NIN beyond the duration declared by the court (which is May, 2021) to at least a year. This he says is in order to give a soft landing to the greater majority of Nigerians who are yet to be captured by the National Identity Management Commission and ensure that a good number of Nigerians are accommodated within the timeline of one year.