Court Backs CBN on Social Media Handle Requirement for Bank Customers

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulation requiring financial institutions to collect customers’ social media handles as part of the Know-Your-Customer procedure does not violate the right to privacy.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba dismissed a lawsuit filed by Lagos-based lawyer Chris Eke, who argued that the regulation was undemocratic, unconstitutional, and null and void, as it conflicted with Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.

Eke sought a declaration and a perpetual injunction restraining CBN from enforcing the regulation.

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However, CBN challenged the suit’s competence and argued that the regulation did not interfere with the applicant’s private life.

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Dimgba agreed with CBN’s preliminary objection and struck out the suit, stating that providing a social media handle is equivalent to providing an email address or phone number for contact and due diligence purposes.

He concluded that the regulation does not infringe on the right to privacy, as social media accounts are intended for public visibility and communication.


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