he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denied allegations of telephone “tracking” and “leakage” made against it by some individuals and groups.
In a press statement on Tuesday by Reuben Muoka, Director, Public Affairs at the NCC, the Commission clarified that by the provisions of law, it is unable to “track” or “leak” telephone conversations of anyone in the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission denies these allegations and advises the public to disregard them,” the statement said.
The NCC also reiterated its commitment to discharging its responsibilities to the Nigerian people in accordance with extant laws and global best practices.
The Commission further disclosed that it has put relevant security agencies on notice concerning the allegations for proper investigation and necessary action.
Recall a telephone conversation allegedly between the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and a Nigerian preacher and founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo was leaked over the weekend.
The alleged leaked conversation had sparked controversies, highlighting the political significance of religion in Nigeria.
In the audio released to the public by People’s Gazette, Obi referred to the elections as a “religious war” and seemingly solicited the help of Oyedepo in spreading his campaign message to Christians in the South-west and parts of North-central.
A Nigerian cyber security expert based in South Africa, Charles Awuzie alleged that the leaked audio tape between Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP and Bishop David Oyedepo could be traced to state-sponsored surveillance of the opposition.
The expert suggested that the persons who leaked the audio must have partnered with security agencies and staff of the telecommunication companies.
“First, the call wasn’t recorded by either of the parties because you can’t record a phone call from the same device while the call is still connecting.
“So, whoever leaked the audio probably used the security agencies and staff of the telecommunication companies. Already we know that MTN’s CEO is Pro-INEC and Pro-Agbado (referring to Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu). I warned about this too. If Peter Obi is still using that network, he should change ASAP.
“By establishing that the leak of opposition leaders’ calls are linked to the ruling party, the international community will mark such governments as suppressive and tyrant,” Awuzie said in a post via his verified Facebook page on Sunday.