The National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General have been sued for blocking unregistered SIM cards.
The suit, filed at the Supreme Court by Kwame Asare-Obeng (A-Plus), Convener of the Peoples Project and also a political activist, is seeking a “declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 2(23) and 296 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 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.
“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.”
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have begun blocking unregistered SIM cards since Monday, September 5.
The NCA on Sunday, September 4 released the punitive actions to be taken against unregistered SIM cards.
The ongoing SIM registration exercise is scheduled to end on 30th September 2022.
Persons who fail to register will suffer consequences.
As part of the punitive measures, the NCA said there would be re-routing of all outgoing calls to IVR for a message to be played before all calls go through every day.
Also, outgoing calls and Data Services for a sequential batch of numbers will be blocked for 48 hours (2 days) once a week on a rotational basis.
“Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) shall divide the Unregistered SIMS into five (5) batches for the purpose of implementing this punitive measure.
“These measures shall exclude blocking of SMS to give defaulting subscribers the opportunity to initiate registration if they so wish.