The Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law, Professor Raymond Atuguba has raised legal objections to the controversial capture of citizens biometric data in the ongoing SIM registration exercise by the telecom operators and the National Communications Authority (NCA).
According to him, it is only the National Identification Authority (NIA) that has the power under the laws of Ghana to carry out such mandate.
Prof Atuguba is among a group of prominent Ghanaians who are boycotting the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) today Tuesday February 8, 2022, as part of their protests against the registration exercise.
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.
Prof. Atuguba told TV3’s Dzifa Bampoh 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 tis country.”
He said, following the failure of the NCA and telcos to address concerns associated with the legality and chaotic SIM re-registration exercise, “we the undersigned Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers, and the over 7,000 online petitioners, call upon our fellow countrymen and women to join our campaign for a #NoCallsDay boycott of the telcos 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 6am 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 re-registration exercise is;
(II) The NCA should immediately withdraw its directive for mobile network customers to re-register 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,” the group said.
- 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