Isa Ayo Salami
By Yemi Ajayi
MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has admitted releasing call detail records of suspended President, Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, to the police.
MTN, the first defendant in a suit filed by the state chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun and Ekiti states as well as former Osun State Governor, Mr. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, seeking the revocation of its licence and N150 billion in damages, said in paragraph eight of its statement of defence that it released the call log based on request from Nigeria Police Force, Area G Command headquarters.
It, however, said it did not release any call log to the panel set up by the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the petitions by PDP and Oyinlola, now the party’s national secretary, nor did it thwart investigation into the petitions by allegedly doctoring the call log as claimed by the plaintiffs.
MTN, represented by a Senior Manager, Commercial Legal in the Corporate Service Division, Rotimi Odusola, who appeared before the NJC panel, headed by Justice Umaru Abdullahi, in June 2011, had disowned the call logs attributed to Justice Salami, by Oni in a petition to the council.
MTN, in its statement of defence dated April 5 by its counsel from Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co., a copy of which was given to THISDAY yesterday, said the call detail records were released to the police following a request from them.
It said that it received the request from the police and another security agency dated April 6, and 21, 2011 for the release of the call detail records of a subscriber’s number from September 2010 to January 2011 for its investigation activities.
It, however, noted that the law enforcement agencies at the time did not “disclose the details of the matters they were investigating or identity of the owners of the lines or the person being investigated.”
MTN said it declined to honour the NJC’s request for the release of some of its subscriber numbers because of its duty to protect customers’ confidentiality, adding that it communicated its decision to the NJC.
It, therefore, denied that it any way frustrated the work of the NJC panel or withheld the call detail records of doctored them as alleged by the plaintiffs.