Nigeria: PDP Asks Court to Revoke MTN’s Licence over access to call records
The Peoples Democratic Party has approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for an order to compel the Nigerian Communications Commission to revoke the licence of MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd.
In the suit filed by the Osun and Ekiti Chapters of the party and the former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, they alleged that NCC has failed to protect them from unfair practices of MTN.
They alleged that when asked to provide the National Judicial Council with call logs containing the alleged conversations between the suspended president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami to substantiate allegations that Justice Salami was influenced by some chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria to arrive at the decision that removed Oyinlola from office, MTN provided the council with an incomplete data.
In the statement of claim filed by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Adebisi Raimi, they claimed that, “MTN deliberately frustrated the work of the panel by providing inadequate and incomplete call data records and thus manipulated same.
“The action of MTN to deliberately frustrate the work of the NJC panel by providing inadequate and incomplete call data records constituted gross professional and ethical misconduct.”
According to them, MTN forwarded to NJC call data records containing only the originating component and deliberately withheld the terminating components, which left the NJC with no option but to declare the call logs as lacking in evidentiary value.
They said: “MTN deliberately omitted the months of September, October and November 2010 from the call data records forwarded to the NJC panel, to effectively obliterate records of the period of communication between and among the following individuals: Justice Isa Ayo Salami, Tunji Ijaiya, Tunde Folawiyo Lagos State Governor, Gbadegesin Ademola, Moha-mmed Rufu Lai, Lagos State Government ,Kayode Fayemi; thereby blanking out the period immediately preceding the judgements of the governorship election appeals in respect of Osun and Ekiti state.”
They said that MTN deliberately omitted the months of September, October and November 2010 from the call data record, to mislead the NJC Panel and to pervert the course of justice. They said that MTN’s action contravened the Nigerian Communications Commission Act.
They are also asking the court to order MTN to pay the sum of N150 Billion as general damages. In his evidence on oath which was attached to the statement of claim, the former Osun State governor Oyinlola said that if MTN had forwarded the authentic, adequate, complete and undistorted and bonafide call data records in respect of communication between and among the individuals mentioned above to the NJC panel, the report of the NJC Investigative Panel and the recommendations of the committee set up to review the report would have been different.
He said: “That if the recommendations of the panel and the committee had been different, necessary legal action and steps would have been taken to ensure that their candidates in the 2007 gubernatorial elections, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State and Chief Segun Oni of Ekiti state were reinstated.
“That because their candidates (PDP’s Oyinlola and Oni) were not reinstated, they had suffered and are still suffering unimaginable integrity, prestige and image, financial and political loses.”