Data Privacy: Lawyer Slams N100m Suit Against Soko Lending Over Alleged Unsolicited Messages

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A legal practitioner and privacy professional Mr. Olumide Babalola has slammed a N100m suit against a microfinance lending institution Soko Lending Company Limited (Soko Loan) for violation of his right to privacy as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and a breach of the Data Protection Law in Nigeria.

In a suit with Reference No: REF 6654/2022 filed at the Lagos State High Court, Mr. Babalola is praying the court to declare that by virtue of article 2.2 of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019, Soko Loan lacks lawful basis to process his personal data to send him unsolicited and offensive Whatsapp messages.

In the 23 paragraphs affidavit in support of the suit which was brought by Originating Summons, Mr. Babalola informed the court that Soko Loan has repeatedly sent random messages to his telephone number asking him to prevail on strangers (who the loan company claim are their debtors) to pay up their indebtedness.

According to him, the unsolicited messages constitute an invasion of his privacy  right and a violation of the extant data protection laws in Nigeria. He prays the court to grant the following reliefs:

A DECLARATION that by virtue of article 2.2 of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019, the Respondent lacks lawful basis to process (collect, store and/or use) the Applicant’s personal data (especially his name and telephone number) to send the Applicant unsolicited and offensive Whatsapp messages and thereby interfered with the Applicant’s right to privacy guaranteed under section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As amended) 

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A DECLARATION that the Respondent’s privacy policy (notice) published on its website http://www.sokoloan.com/#/privacy as of 1st day of February 2022 contravenes the provision of article 2.5 of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 and thereby interfered with the Applicant’s right to privacy guaranteed by section 37 of the section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As amended). 

PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Respondent from further processing (storing and using) the Applicant’s name and telephone number without a lawful basis. 

DAMAGES in the sum of N100, 000, 000 (One Hundred Million Naira).

No date has been assigned for the hearing of the suit yet.

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