Court Declares Banks’ Requirement For Social Media Handles Valid & Constitutional

Posted on May 15, 2024

Hon. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, 15 May struck out a suit filed by one Chris Eke against the Central Bank of Nigeria on an allegation that Section 6(a) (iv) of the CBN’s Customer Due Diligence Regulation 2023, violated his constitutional right to privacy. 


The Applicant, Chris Eke, through his Counsel, Olubunmi Abayomi-Olukunle Esq. had sometime in July, 2023 instituted Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1281/2023 against the CBN at the Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging CBN’s Regulation requiring banks to request for social media handles of their customers as part of customer due diligence.


According to the Applicant, the request for social media handles is unconstitutional and inconsistent with Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.


In its defence, the CBN, represented by its lead Counsel, Prof Fabian Ajogwu, SAN of Kenna Partners, with O.M Atoyebi, SAN filed a response challenging the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit.


Ajogwu SAN argued that the CBN Regulation was issued in good faith in line with the provision of the CBN Act 2007 and that the Applicant’s suit was lacking in merit having failed to provide credible evidence in support of his case.


Senior Counsel to CBN also argued that the social media handle of an individual is of a public nature available in the public domain.


Honourable Justice Dimgba, in his Judgment, agreed with CBN’s argument and held that the applicant’s suit was speculative having failed to show to the Court that he operates a bank account in a commercial bank for the purpose of proving that his right was infringed upon by the provision.


The Court further held that Section 6(a) (iv) of the Regulation was not inconsistent with Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution and thereafter struck out the suit.

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