Telecoms: Regulator prosecutes 7 suspects for SIM card offences in Nigeria

*The use of pre-registered SIM cards gives promotes unwholesome activities as kidnapping, call masking, threat to lives, bullying, armed robbery, identity theft financial crimes and SIM swap fraud, says Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs of NCC

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

With the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has secured court convictions of seven persons for SIM Card-related offences in the country.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, who disclosed this development in a statement Sunday, October 11, 2020, said the convictions were achieved through the joint efforts of the security operatives, including the NSCDC and DSS.

Adinde stated that the seven convicts were charged and convicted at the Grade 1 Area Court Nyanya, Abuja, FCT, and Senior Magistrate Court, Kano, in Northern Nigeria, for offences related to violation of SIM registration laws.

The regulatory Commission stressed that the offences were contrary to Section 517 of the Criminal Code Act; Section 65 (1) of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 and Section 65 (2) of the NCC Act, 2003 and punishable under the same Act.

The NCC in the statement identified Bako Joseph, Umar Abdullahi, Lawal Sani, Shamsuddin Aliyu, George Eze, Ayuba Ishak and Kabiru Ali as the offenders.

The first convict, Bako Joseph, was charged with the sale of SIM cards outside a controlled environment, while the other six were arraigned on the charge of the sale of fraudulently-registered SIM cards, said the statement.

It further stated that the suspects pleaded guilty to the charge against them, and were subsequently convicted and sentenced to two months’ imprisonment with an option to pay a fine of N15,000 and six months imprisonment or the option of fine in the sum of N20,000.

According to the commission, the use of pre-registered SIM cards gives cover for unwholesome activities such as kidnapping, call masking, threat to lives, bullying, armed robbery, identity theft financial crimes and SIM swap fraud, among others.

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