The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), through concerted enforcement efforts with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), as well as the Department of State Services (DSS), has secured convictions of seven accused persons for SIM card related offences.
In a statement, the Commission said the seven convicts were all recently charged and convicted at a Grade 1 Area Court Nyanya, Abuja and a Kano Magistrate’s Court for offences bordering on violation of SIM registration laws in the country.
The convicts- Bako Joseph Boy, Umar Kabiru Abdullahi, Lawal Sani, Shamsuddin Aliyu, George Eze, Ayuba Ishak and Kabiru Ali were convicted for various SIM card related offences.
Specifically, the first convict, Boy was charged with the sale of SIM cards outside a controlled environment while the other six were arraigned on charges of sale of fraudulently registered SIM cards.Their convictions, NCC said had shown that its commitment to stop the use of unregistered SIM cards to perpetrate cybercrime and other criminal activities in the country was already yielding results.
Besides, the telecoms regulator urged Nigerians to stop the sale, purchase and use of pre-registered SIM cards as it had constituted a punishable offence under the law.
However, NCC insisted 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.
It said: “The suspects, who pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against them were subsequently convicted as charged and sentenced to two months imprisonment with an option of a fine of N15,000 and six months imprisonment or the option of fine in the sum of N20,000.
“The arrest of the suspects followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NCC, NSCDC, and DSS to strengthen inter-agency collaboration towards curbing criminal act of registering and selling of pre-registered SIM cards in the country.
The use of pre-registered SIM cards had given cover for unwholesome activities like kidnapping, call masking, threat to lives, bullying, armed robbery, identity theft financial crimes, and SIM swap fraud, among others.”