Business News of Thursday, 16 May 2019
The Consumer Advocacy Center (CAC) Ghana, has sued the National Communications Authority (NCA) and telcos in the country.
The suit which was filed at the High Court according to CAC is to protect the Ghanaian consumer of telephone services, by asking the court to uphold the Ghanaian law on SIM card registration and regulation.
A statement by the centre said “The Center has 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. The stakeholders we have dragged to the court are: The National Communications Authority (NCA), the owners and operators of MTN, Vodafone, Airtel Tigo and Glo networks.”
The statement issued to that effect further said: “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. We are thereby praying the court to uphold our Ghanaian law and grant our reliefs that have been carefully plotted to guarantee a safe telephone market for consumers and help businesses.”
CAC in its statement of claim is seeking an order directed at the defendants to form a taskforce to include the plaintiff to undertake an audit to identify all sim cards which have not been registered in line with L.I 2006.
It is praying the court to order the defendants to deactivate all sim cards which are in use but not lawfully registered.
It has also asked the court to order the defendants to deactivate all registered sim cards which have been registered using Pseudo names, fake names and non-existence names.
In addition, CAC is asking the court to order the defendants to register and activate sim cards only at designated offices which may include well equipped standalone stations of the defendants which must be able to authenticate the validity of the required document (s) needed to undertake the registration at prescribed by the L.I. 2006.
It has also asked for punitive or exemplary damages in favour of plaintiffs and also costs occasioned by this suit including the professional fees of the lawyer.