MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has finally laid to rest the controversy over the genuineness of the call logs rejected as credible evidence by the National Judicial Council’s (NJC’s) probe panel, by confirming that it released them to the police.
The call data on mobile numbers belonging to the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami and others, from the Police at Area G Command Headquarters, Ogba, Lagos, were rejected by the Justice Umaru Abdullahi probe panel due to what the panel described as “doubtful and unreliable source.”
The panel subsequently used the call data obtained by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which covered only three months, to absolve Salami and other jurists, saying that the data were not comprehensive enough to indict them for unethical communications with parties in Osun and Ekiti governorship appeals.
The call data now being confirmed as authentic by the telecoms firm cover five months.
Oyinlola and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osun and Ekiti state chapters, had gone to court, claiming that MTN deliberately released incomplete call data to NSA in order to protect Salami and certain politicians accused of unethical communications during the trial of appeals arising from the governorship elections in the two states.
They are asking for N150 billion damages and revocation of MTN’s operational licence.
In MTN’s statement of defence to the suit, the firm acknowledged that the call logs from the Nigeria Police Area G Command Headquarters, Ogba, which the petitioners presented to the panel as exhibit and rejected by the panel, were from it.
In paragraph 8, the firm claimed that “In response to paragraph 22-23 of the Statement of Claim, the 1st Defendant (MTN) stated that it always cooperates with security agencies and acceded to their legitimate requests while adhering to its rigid procedures to ensure its customer confidentiality regime is not compromised or prejudiced and also within the confines of its capacity and storage constraints. It was consequent upon this that the 1st Defendant, upon request for call data records from Nigeria Police Force Area G Command Headquarters Ogba, forwarded the CDRs to the Command.”
In MTN’s response, handled by the chambers of the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abdullahi Ibrahim SAN, the telecoms giant insisted that it could only provide data covering three months.
- Nigerian Eye