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Data Privacy: NGO Sues Nigeria's Central Bank

Adaugo Nwankpa
Adaugo Nwankpa

On the heels of Nigeria's Central Bank’s directive to commercial banks to share customers’ data with fintech companies, the Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative has approached the Federal High Court challenging the directive as a violation of bank customers data privacy.

In Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/76/2020 between the Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative and the Central Bank of Nigeria, filed by the law firm of Olumide Babalola LP, the Plaintiff seeks the following reliefs:

1. A DECLARATION that by virtue of article 1.1(a) of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) 2019, data protection is included under right to privacy guaranteed by section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended).

2. A DECLARATION that the Respondent’s directive to commercial banks to share their customers’ data with financial technology companies violated and/or is likely to violate Olasunkanmi Bello’s right to privacy as guaranteed under article 1.1(a) of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 and section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

3. A DECLARATION that the Respondent’s directive to commercial banks to share their customers’ data with financial technology companies is unconstitutional, null and void.

4. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Respondent and anyone acting through its directive from compelling commercial banks to share the Applicant’s data with financial technology companies.

It would be recalled that, during First Bank’s Virtual Fintech Summit on the 6th day of August 2020, CBN’s Director for Payment System Management, Musa Jimoh, informed the participants that the apex bank had directed commercial banks to share customers’ data with fintech companies. The announcement led to the filing of this case. The case is however yet to be assigned to any judge in the division.

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Adaugo Nwankpa

Statistical and Economics Analyst with a focus on social development.