Sam George to sue if unregistered SIM cards are blocked, says govt’s decision is arbitrary, capricious

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Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George has served notice to sue the government if it goes ahead to block unregistered SIM cards starting 1st April this year.

According to him, there is no legal basis for the government to block unregistered SIM cards hence, his decision to sue if that happens.

Speaking on the New Day show with Johnnie Hughes on TV3 Monday February 21, Sam George said “Let me serve notice that the Minister’s threat of SIM card being deactivated by end of March this year is hot air, it won’t happen in this country, there is no legal basis. Ghana is not a banana republic, the Minister doesn’t just wake up throw orders around.

“Mark it here today, on the 1st of April, people who have still not registered will be able to use their phone cards. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful will come back and tell you she is varying it. You cannot just wake up and say, I am giving six months, if you don’t register your SIM card you lose the SIM card.

“Go and take the SIM card and look at the SIM card, the terms and conditions that were attached to that sim card, when I got into a contract with my telco, my Mobile Network Operator, a part of it did not tell me that because of a Ghana Card I will lose use of my SIM card.

“I have a contractual agreement with you, I have airtime I have bought on my card and you will block it? We will sue them from here to mars and we will win the cases. Because at the end of the day, you don’t just wake up and use administrative orders. Article 296 of the constitution is clear, yes the Minister administrative powers but Article 296 of the constitution which talks about use of discretionary powers says, it must not be arbitrary, it must not be capricious and it must Not be whimsical. This order by the Minister is arbitrary, capricious and malicious. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Sam Goerge’s former colleague lawmaker for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak also said the NCA and the telecommunication companies cannot block SIM cards if the owners refuse to re-register.

He said the re-registration exercise being carried out by the NCA has no grounding in law. He, therefore, called on Ghanaians not to waste their time joining queues to re-register their SIM cards.

In a short message forwarded to 3news.com, Ras Mubarak who is among the prominent Ghanaians opposing the NCA said “If you have not re-registered your sim, do not waste your time. Neither the NCA nor the Telecos can block your SIM after 31st March. The re-registration is an affront to our constitution.”

Similarly, the Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law, Professor Raymond Atuguba also raised legal objections to the ongoing exercise.

According to him, it is the National Identification Authority (NIA) that has the power under the laws of Ghana to carry out such a mandate.

Prof Atuguba who is also among the group of prominent Ghanaians who earlier boycotted Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on Tuesday, February 8 as part of their protests against the registration exercise told TV3 that “As far as I know it is the NIA that has the legal mandate to capture such data and store it.

“That mandate has not, legislatively, been given to the telecommunications companies, it has not legislatively, been given to even the NCA or the National Information Technology Agency (NITA). NITA’s functions do not include holding the biodata of citizens of this country.”

The group who are against the registration exercise had earlier raised the issues in anticipation that the NCA would act on them. But they said in a statement on Sunday, February 6 that the NCA had failed to do so hence, the decision to boycott the MNOs.

Their earlier statement said “Following the failure of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to address concerns associated with the legality and chaotic Sim-Reregistration Exercise, we the undersigned Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers, and the over 7000 online petitioners, call upon our fellow countrymen and women to join our campaign for a #NoCallsDay boycott of the MNOs on Tuesday 8th February 2022.

“On Tuesday, we are appealing to Ghanaians and all mobile network users within Ghana not to make and or received calls and all associated mobile network activities from 6 am to 12midday.

“The #NoCallsDay boycott on 8th February would be the first in a series of national boycotts to protest against the illegal and inhumane process of re-registration of SIM cards.”

Below is a list of their concerns; that the SIM card re-registration exercise is;
(I) Illegal

(II) The NCA should immediately withdraw its directive for mobile network customers to re-register their SIM cards by 31st March 2022.

(iii) Appropriate legal framework must be in place for any directives for sim re-registration to happen

(IV) A demand for the NCA and MNOs to come up with a better and innovative way of re-registering the SIM cards without the current chaotic and inhumane re-registration process we are witnessing up and down the country.

(V) The NCA should direct the MNOs to stop using private phones of employees to collect subscribers’ biometric data.

Our next line of action after Tuesday 8th February, if the concerns raised above remain would be a full day’s (6am – 6pm) boycott on Tuesday 15th February, and same every other Tuesday until the appropriate action is taken by the NCA & MNOs.

Signed by

Hon. Ras Mubarak, Prof. Raymond Atuguba, Dr. Kwesi Owusu, H. E. Hassan Ayariga, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, Mr. Kofi Bentil, Mr. Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Mr. Kofi Kakraba Pratt, Hon. Mrs. Mona Quartey, Mr. Samson Lardy Anyenini, Mr. James Afedo, Mr. Selorm Branttie, Mr. Francis Kofi Korankye-Sakyi, Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni, Akyaaba Addai – Sebo, Ms. Amma Sarfo-Kantanka, Mr Kwame Mfodwo, Mr Michael Ofori – Akuffo, Dr. Godfred Seidu Jassaw, Nana Kwaku Agyeman, Mr. Appiah Adomako, Mr. Sulemana Issifu

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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