The National Communications Authority (NCA) and the owners of telecommunication services in Ghana have been hauled to court over unregistered SIM cards.
In a suit sighted by Myjoyonline.com, the Consumer Advocacy Center (CAC) Ghana, is praying the High Court to cause all Telco operators in the country to ensure that subscribers to their SIM cards have duly registered the cards as demanded by law.
The Consumer Advocacy Center has thus sued the NCA as well as operators of MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Glo.
The Centre wants the court to cause a taskforce to be set up, which must include them to “identify all SIM cards which have not been registered in line with L.I. 2006.”
They also want “an order directed at the defendants to deactivate all SIM cards which have not been lawfully registered.”
CAC also want the court to order the Telcos to register SIM cards at designated offices which should be well equipped to verify data produced by the clients.
Lastly, CAC wants the defendants to pay them damages incurred in the suit as well as a punitive sum.
Why did CAC file the suit?
In a statement, CAC said, “found it necessary to institute this legal step to force the stakeholders in the mobile telephony market to conform to the dictates of LI 2006 and thereby avoid the situation of having improperly registered SIM cards in the industry.”
“Consumers in Ghana are losing millions of Cedis to criminals who have invaded the telephony market via fraudulently acquired SIM cards, which are activated by the network providers to enable the criminals contact and dupe unsuspecting consumers within the market.
“The lives of others are being threatened on a daily basis by criminals with such illegally registered SIM cards without a trace to these criminals.
“It is our considered opinion that these criminal activities are possible as a result of violations and sidestepping brought about by the flagrant disregard for LI 2006,” CAS wrote.
What has the gov’t said?
The Communications Minister in April noted that, all Telcos have been “directed to ensure strict compliance with the law and engage Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and all relevant stakeholders to address these deficiencies.”
Subscribers have been urged to dial *400# Toll-free on any network to check if their SIM card is properly registered.