The National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Attorney-General (A-G) have been sued by a pressure organization called The People’s Project regarding the ongoing SIM card re-registration effort.
They are asking the top court to declare the deadline and any related sanctions void.
The group said in a writ published on Friday, September 9, that the exercise is being carried out arbitrarily. Consequently, they are looking for:
“A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 2, 23, and 296 of the Republic of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, the directive by the Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, on Sunday, July 31, 2022, that the 1st Defendant will ensure that all SIM cards that are not re-registered by 30th September 2022 will be blocked while the National Identification Authority has not been able to issue the Ghana card, which is the only
The organization also requests that the NCA’s current punitive actions, such as call banning, be deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court.
“A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 2, 23, and 296 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the decision of the 1st Defendant to restrict, penalize, and prevent unregistered SIMs from engaging in certain activities, including making outgoing calls, from 4 September 2022 onwards while not all Ghanaians have been issued with the Ghana card for the re-registration exercise is arbitrary, capricious, and unconstitutional,” reads the letter.
Prior to the deadline of September 30, the NCA has instructed telecommunications operators to start limiting mobile telephony services to unregistered SIM card customers.
A statement from the Authority’s Director-General states that a batch of consecutive numbers would have their outgoing calls and data services stopped for two days each week.
To undertake this punitive step, “MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] shall divide the unregistered SIMs into five batches.
To provide delinquent users the chance to start registering if they so want, these actions shall not include blocking of SMS.
A portion of the announcement read, “Subscribers who fully register their SIM cards within the period they have been blocked will only be unblocked by the MNOs after 48 hours to avoid the MNOs occasionally meddling with their systems.”
The impacted parties have expressed a wide range of grievances as a result.