The High Court of Anambra State has ordered that the National Identification Number Slip (NINS) validly issued by the National Identity Management Commission containing the National Identity Number is valid and sufficient identification for the purpose of sim-swap or replacement and any transaction whatever.
The order was given by Hon. Justice M.N.O Okonkwo in the case between Isabella Ijeoma Okeke v. The Emerging Matters Telecommunication Services (9 Mobile) with Suit No: 0/103/2018.
In the case, the plaintiff had asked whether in view of the extant laws/regulations, the National Identification Number Slip (NINS) is a valid and sufficient means of identification in Nigeria for purposes of transactions including sim-swap or replacement.
Ruling on a preliminary objection raised in the matter by the defendant, the court ordered that it has the jurisdiction to hear the matter. However, it held that the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) is not a necessary party to the suit, thereby leaving 9 mobile as the sole defendant in the matter.
The Court in its reasoning has held that the National Identity Number Slip (NINS) is issued in place of the National identity card.
“The National Identification Management Commission Act (NIMCA) by its Section 14 (1) made provisions for the establishment of National Identity Database which shall contain registered information or date relating to Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are registerable under the Act.
“The Database is to provide, amongst other objectives, the medium for the identification verification and authentication of citizens of Nigeria. The database contains details of each registered person. On successful registration, each person is given National Identity Number Sip which contains the National Identity Number of the concerned person. The National Identity Number Slip (NINS) is issued in lieu of the National Identity Card,” the court said.
The Court further held that if it is possible to issue one with the National Identity Card on registration, there would not have been any need to issue the enrollee with the National Identification Slip, adding that the act is not for joke. The Court therefore holds that the National Identity Card number is sufficient identification of an individual for the purposes of any transaction with any authority or organization.
The Court in agreeing with the position of the Plaintiff, ordered a N2,000,000 damages in her favour, and N500,000 general damages also in her favour, and 25% interest per annum (for prevailing CBN interest rate) of the judgement sum from the date of delivery of judgment until final liquidation of the judgement sum.