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Court dismisses case against CBN, allows banks to request customers’ social media handle



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A federal high court sitting in Lagos has struck out a case against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over its directive requiring banks to collect and verify social media handles as part of their know-your-customer (KYC) requirement.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba struck out a suit filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Chris Eke, seeking a declaration that the regulation as contained in section 6(a)(iv) of the CBN (customer due diligence) Regulations, 2023, is “undemocratic, unconstitutional, null and void”.

The judge ruled that providing a social media handle is equivalent to providing email and phone numbers for potential customers, and therefore, it does not violate the right to privacy.

According to Justice Dimgba, the essence of having a social media account was for one to be publicly visible communication-wise, and it would be highly unreasonable to hold the CBN in breach of privacy for it.

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