From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Erstwhile Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has threatened legal action against the Inspector General (IG) of Police, for refusing to release the IG Monitoring Team Report in respect of his petition against MTN Nigeria and others.
In a letter dated January 27, 2023 and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Oyinyola said he was left with no better choice than to initiate legal action over the matter.
It is position that the alleged refusal of the police to release the said report creates the impression of a cover up.
The expected report which dates as far back as 2013 bordered on investigation of a case of conspiracy, forgery and perversion of the course of justice by MTN Nigeria Ltd.
According to Oyinlola, the police after its investigation had advised that MTN Nigeria be prosecuted in line with Section 167(8) of the Evidence Act, for an attempt to suppress evidence in the case.
Oyinlola had in his petition to the police in 2012, alleged of an unholy relationship between then Justice Ayo Salami and some chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to pervert the course of justice when Justice Salami presided at the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal involving the ACN and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He had claimed that there was a telephone interaction between and among ACN chieftains, its lawyers, Justice Ayo Salami (now retired) and his bosom friend, Tunji Ijaiya, which MTN desperately tried to cover up from the NJC’s Special Investigative Panel.
Amongst the phone numbers the petitioner believed to have held discussions with the then presiding Justice of the election tribunal are 08034240000 and 0802240104, “both numbers, I am certain are/were being used by Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The latter is registered in the name of MTN Director, Tunde Folawiyo. The former is registered in the name of Gbadegesin Ademola, who is Tinubu’s Personal Assistant.
“MTN officials. All four individuals ought to be invited by the police to disclose at what point, ownership of the two subscriber lines changed”, Oyinlola argued.
He added that, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Gbadegesin Ademola (Tinubu’s aide), Justice Ayo Salami, Tunde Folawiyo, Tunji Ijaiya and Rotimi Odusola must appear before the police “to narrate their roles in the grand scheme to pervert the course of justice”.
However, Oyinlola claimed that the police has since 2013 failed to supply him with the said report after several requests.
The former governor in the January 27, letter titled; RE: Protest at the Refusal of the Nigerian Police Force to Release Report of Investigation Carried Out By IGP Monitoring Team in Respect of Petitions against MTN Nigeria Communications, Certain Staff of The Nigerian Communications Commission and One Simon Egede (REF: CR3000/IGPSEC/ABJ/VOL. 103/603) and signed by his aide, Mr Adeolu Oyinlola stated that, “Given that the police establishment is unwilling to release the said report for reasons we find difficult to fathom, we are now left with no choice than to approach the courts for intervention”.
Before the January 27 letter, the petitioners had written similar protest letters dated January 4 and 26, 2023 and December 20, 2022, wherein they had registered their “surprise and disappointment at the refusal of the police to release to us the report of investigation carried out by the IGP Monitoring Team in respect of petitions” written by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
“Having written more than 10 letters requesting the release of the aforementioned report in the intervening period of eight years (and counting) acknowledged copies of four of which letters are attached to this correspondence, we have good reason to believe that a cover-up has patently been hatched and is being overtly executed by certain persons in the Nigerian Police Force”, the letter dated December 20, 2022 read in part.
Oyinlola, who claimed to be the only witness during the investigation submitted that there was a manipulation of the Call Detail Records (CDRs) forwarded to the police by MTN at the behest of the National Judicial Council (NJC) sometime in 2013 which necessitated the initial complaint.
According to him, “only the Originating (Outgoing) components were made available, while the Terminating (Incoming) components were witheld in order to conceal the identity of callers.
“The implication of the foregoing is that MTN can (and did) manipulate the Call Detail Records of persons being investigated by law enforcement and security agencies ” he added.
While the letter appealed to the police “to be conscious of the verdict of history and mindful of the judgment of posterity; it implored the IG to use his good office “to cause the release of the report in question to us without further delay”.