A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the extension of the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN) registration by further two months.
Justice Maureen Onyetenu ordered the extension while delivering a ruling in a suit filed by a legal practitioner, Monday Ubani against the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.
Mr Ubani argued that the deadline given to service providers to block people’s SIMM Cards will infringe on the constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression, right to own moveable property, and right to life.
He also claimed that the rush to register lines increased his chances and millions of Nigerians contracting COVID-19. As such, it was a violation of his right to life.
He therefore requested the court to halt the ultimatum and extend the deadline.
“A declaration that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising cases in Nigeria presently, the deadline 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), Ubani said in his argument.
In response, Justice Onyetenu granted the request of the plaintiff by ordering the extension of the exercise.