Home News Court upholds CBN regulation, to collect customer’s Social media handles

Court upholds CBN regulation, to collect customer’s Social media handles

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Court upholds CBN regulation, to collect customer's Social media handles

The Federal High Court in Lagos has affirmed a new regulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requiring financial institutions to collect social media handles from their customers as part of the standard Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedure

Court upholds CBN regulation, to collect customer's Social media handles
Court upholds CBN regulation, to collect customer’s Social media handles

In a ruling on Thursday, May 16, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba determined that this regulation does not violate the privacy rights of bank customers.

The judge dismissed a suit filed by Lagos-based lawyer Chris Eke, who argued that the regulation, as specified in Section 6(a)(iv) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Customer Due Diligence) Regulations, 2023, was undemocratic, unconstitutional, and in conflict with Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Eke had sought a court order to permanently prevent the CBN from enforcing the regulation, claiming it was an invasion of privacy.

In response, the CBN filed a notice of preliminary objection, contesting the suit’s validity and asserting that the regulation did not interfere with the private lives of customers.

Justice Dimgba ruled in favor of the CBN, stating that the notice of preliminary objection was valid and subsequently struck out the suit.

He argued that requiring a social media handle is analogous to requesting an email address or phone number—standard means of contacting customers for due diligence purposes. He concluded that this requirement does not infringe on the right to privacy.

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The judge emphasized that the purpose of having a social media account is for public communication, and it would be unreasonable to consider the CBN in breach of privacy for mandating this information as part of KYC procedures.

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