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A-Plus sues NCA and the Attorney General for blocking unregistered SIM cards

A-Plus sues NCA and the Attorney General for blocking unregistered SIM cards

Controversial political activist, Kwame Asare-Obeng popularly known in the showbiz industry as A-Plus has sued the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for blocking unregistered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.

The suit, filed at the Supreme Court by A-Plus who doubles as the Convener of the Peoples Project, is seeking a true and proper interpretation of Articles 2(23) and 296 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana to default the directive given by the Minister for Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful for blocking SIM cards which are not re-registered.

He expressed grievances that Mrs Owusu-Ekuful has directed for subscribers whose SIM cards were not re-registered by September 30, 2022 to be blocked while aware that the National Identification Authority (NIA) has not been able to issue the Ghana Cards which is the only card to be used for the said re-registration for all registered Ghanaians.

He referred to the directive as “capricious”, “unconstitutional” and an “abuse of discretion” which has no legal effect and should be regarded as null and void.

“The Directive by the Minister for Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, on Sunday, July 31, 2022, that the First Defendant will ensure that all SIM cards that are not re-registered by 30 September 2022, will be blocked while the National Identification Authority (NIA) has not been able to issue the Ghana Cards which is the only card to be used for the said re-registration of all Ghanaians is arbitrary, capricious, amounts to an abuse of discretion and same is unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect,” the suit said.

“A declaration on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 2, 23 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the defendants are estopped from blocking the SIM cards of Ghanaians who have not been able to re-register their SIM cards until such a time where the NIA is able to issue the Ghana cards to all Ghanaians,” it added.

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)
were directed to start implementing “punitive measures” against persons who have not re-registered their SIM cards within the stipulated period.

The directive which came from the National Communications Authority (NCA) took effect on Monday, September 5,2022.

The measure which was rolled out includes blocking of outgoing calls and data services for some unregistered numbers for 48 hours (two days)  once a week on rotational basis of five batches.

“Subscribers who fully register their SIM cards within the period they have been blocked will only be unblocked by the MNOs after the 48 hours to avoid the MNOs tampering with their systems intermittently,” the NCA said.

The directive was contained in a letter to the Heads of MNOs and the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, dated September 2, 2022 signed by the Director-General of the NCA, Joe Anokye.

The letter stated that the measures being implemented this month excluded blocking of SMS to give defaulting subscribers the opportunity to initiate registration if they so wish.

As part of the punitive measures, outgoing calls would be re-routed to Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for a message to be played, before all calls go through every day.

“All unregistered SIM cards of the MNOs (no registration attempt and stage one only) should be blocked after September 30, 2022. All unregistered SIM cards Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) should be blocked after September 30, 2022,” it said.

According to the letter, the punitive measures were discussed at a meeting convened by the NCA on August 3, 2022 during which the measures were compiled and reviewed following submissions by the MNOs.

It said the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, had since reviewed and approved the measures for subsequent implementation and asked Manos to comply.

Source: www.spotonnews.net

Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: [email protected]

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