Godfrey Eneye, lawyer and MTN subscriber, has won a lawsuit against MTN in which he claimed the network violated his rights by revealing or permitting his private line registered with the network provider to be accessed by other organisations and persons ‘who sent unsolicited, irritating and annoying messages to the said line’.
PUNCH reported that Eneye told the Federal High Court that the operator allowed individuals, organisations and other bodies to send unsolicited SMS to his phone line”
MTN on the other hand claimed that it did not disclose the subscriber’s phone details to third parties.
“The appellant did not show or even suggest that it notified the respondent before giving access to his line to the senders of the text messages,” Justice Agim ruled.
“By giving those unknown persons and organisations access to the respondent’s MTN GSM phone number, to send text messages into it, the appellant violated the respondent’s fundamental right to privacy guaranteed by section 37 of the Constitution which includes the right to the privacy of a person’s telephone line.
“The said section 37 of the 1999 Constitution provides that, ‘The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic conversations is hereby guaranteed and protected’.
“The innumerable text messages without his consent at all times is a violation of his fundamental right to the privacy of his telephone conversations, correspondence and his person and telephone line and telephone message inbox.”