NIN: Court Stops MTN, Airtel Others From Deactivating Subscribers’ Lines

NIN: Court Stops MTN, Airtel Others From Deactivating Subscribers’ Lines

  • A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained Airtel, MTN and other telecom operators from deactivating or barring subscribers' lines
  • Human rights activist, Olukoya Ogungbeje had dragged the federal government, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, MTN and Airtel Networks to court
  • Telecom operators in the country have threatened to disconnect users who did not link their lines with the National Identification Number (NIN) journalist Adekunle Dada has over 5 years of experience covering metro and government policy

Ikeja, Lagos state - Airtel, MTN and other telecom operators in Nigeria have been restrained from deactivating or barring any line or sim whose user did not link to the National Identification Number (NIN)

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos gave the order on Monday, February 26, Vanguard reported.

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Court stops MTN, Airtel others from deactivating subscribers’ lines
MTN, Airtel others barred from deactivating subscribers’ lines over NIN Photo credit: George Osodi/Bloomberg via Getty image/ Court of Appeal
Source: UGC

The ruling was based on an application for restraining orders by a human rights activist, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

The lawyer had in a suit, asked the court for an injunction pending appeal, restraining the federal government, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, MTN and Airtel Networks, their agents, outlets, agencies etc from outright barring, deactivating and or restricting any SIM cards or phone lines, or of any Nigerian citizen.

He argued that the status quo should remain pending the hearing and determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal, against the court’s judgment delivered on May 8, 2023, by Justice Lewis-Allagoa.

As reported by Daily Independent, Ogungbeje listed 10 grounds for seeking the application which include:

“That sometime in April 2022, the appellant/applicant herein took out an originating summons against the respon­dents challenging the action of the respondents in undermining the judicial powers of the court and the Nigerian legal system and thus infringing on the applicant’s fundamental rights.

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“That this honourable court in a well-considered judgment delivered on the 8th of May 2023 dismissed the appellant/appli­cant originating summons.
“That the appellant/applicant being dissatisfied with the judg­ment has exercised his constitu­tional right of appeal by lodging a notice of appeal against the judg­ment of this honourable court on the 26th of July 2023 by the lower court.
“That the appellant/appli­cant’s appeal is against the whole decision contained in the judg­ment of this honourable court.
“That the respondents are aware of the appellant/appli­cant’s appeal to the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, as the respon­dents have since been duly served with the appellant/applicant’s no­tice of appeal.

How to Link NIN with MTN, Airtel earlier reported that all the major telecommunications companies in Nigeria have started sending messages to subscribers to link their NIN to their phone lines to avoid disconnection.

This is continuous compliance with regulatory directives of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).


Adekunle Dada avatar

Adekunle Dada (Politics and Current Affairs Editor) Adekunle Dada is a journalist with over 5 years of working experience in the media. He has worked with PM News, The Sun and Within Nigeria before joining as a Politics/Current Affairs Editor. He holds a B.Sc. in Mass Communication from Lagos State University (LASU). He can be reached via

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