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Court to Hear Oniís Case against MTN in March

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Date: 26th, FEBRUARY, 2013

Image: Chief Segun Oni.

A Federal High Court has adjourned to March 25, the case filed by former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, against MTN Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), seeking the revocation of MTN’s operational licence over its refusal to release all the information he requested to prove that suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, had communications with the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), while Salami presided over the petition that removed Oni from office.

Oni is praying for an order of the court compelling NCC to revoke the operating licence of MTN in the public and national interest, and in defence of national security.

He also wants an order of the court directing MTN to pay the sum of N150 billion to him, being general damages suffered by him, as “a consequence of MTN’s unfair corporate practice and deceitful manipulation, which proved  detrimental to his interest.

Also, he wants a declaration that the first defendant is under a duty to prevent its services or facilities from being used in the commission of any offence or breach of any law made for the good governance, public order and security of Nigeria.

Oni, who instituted the suit through his counsel, Segun Ilori, claimed that sometime in 2010, the Governorship Election Appeal Tribunal in Ilorin nullified his election as Ekiti State governor and that after the aforementioned judgment of the tribunal, he and  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of the state chapter, duly expressed their dissatisfaction with the aforementioned judgment because of his discovery of a breach of constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing before an impartial tribunal or judges, as well as ethical breaches in relation to the acts of some judicial officers connected with the appeal.

He further claimed that as an expression of his dissatisfaction with the said judgment, he, forwarded and submitted petitions to the National Judicial Council (NJC) alleging misconduct against certain judicial officers in the handling and determination of governorship election appeal in respect of Ekiti State, which breached his fundamental right to fair hearing.

Oni said NJC, in accordance with its statutory and legal duties, set up a special Investigative panel in 2011 to determine the culpability or otherwise of certain judicial officers with respect to allegations of corruption that rocked the judiciary.

He also stated that during the course of investigations carried out by an arm of government’s law enforcement and security agencies in the country, the office of the area commander, Nigeria Police Force, Area “G” Command Headquarters, Ogba, Lagos, did request that MTN furnish it with information on telephone subscriber numbers 08034004887 and 08034010700, belonging to Justice Isa Ayo Salami  and Chief Tunji Ijaiya respectively - the principal characters fingered in the communication between the erstwhile president of the Court of Appeal and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftains during the pendency of the Ekiti State gubernatorial appeal.
Also he claimed that MTN did furnish the said Area ‘G’ Police Command office with the call data records of the two numbers aforementioned, for a period of 5 months which is between September 2010 and January 2011 and that in order to assist the National Judicial Council Panel in its assigned duty, requests were made to all the mobile telephony and ancillary service providers in the country to furnish the special investigative panel set up by the NJC with call data records of certain subscribers.

He further added that  the three other GSM service providers cooperated fully with the NJC Panel and availed the latter of call data records; spanning, in some cases, six (6) calendar months. The call data records were forwarded by Glo, Airtel and Etisalat.

He, however, claimed that 1st Defendant on its own part, deliberately frustrated the work of the Panel by providing inadequate and incomplete call data records to the law enforcement and security agencies, which, the latter, in turn, transmitted to the Special Investigative Panel of the NJC and thus manipulated same.

He also added that to his dismay the, 1st Defendant forwarded incomplete and inadequate call data records, to wit; only the originating (outgoing) component without the terminating (incoming) component to law enforcement and security agencies; particularly the National Security Adviser, who transmitted same to  NJC Panel, as opposed to the call data records the 1st Defendant released to the Area Commander, “Area G” Command, Ogba, Lagos, which contained both originating and terminating components.

Article Credit: The Thisday News

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