The Nigerian Communications Commission has dismissed reports of alleged connivance of the Commission to frame the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, by tracking and leaking a controversial phone conversation Obi had with Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of the Living Faith Church.
In the audio conversation that has gone viral with mixed reactions on social media and other platforms, Obi was heard allegedly telling Oyedepo that the 2023 election was a “religious war” and urged him to mobilize Christians in certain parts of the country to vote for him.
Leadership reported that Obi in the conversation did not seem to have incited religious violence, elements of the ruling All Progressives Congress condemned the said statement and insinuated he plotted to create disunity in religious lines, a very sensitive issue in a country after controversial elections.
Spokesman of Peter Obi, Valentine Obienyem, in a statement on Sunday, had alleged the NCC of complicity in leaking the audio, noting that the Commission had also plotted with the APC to track Mr. Obi’s phone calls in the last three years to see if he made any calls in support of the threat of interim government.
However, in a statement on Tuesday, the Director of Public Affairs of NCC dispelled the allegations and urged the public to disclaim it.
The state read in part, “The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been inundated with enquiries by the media on allegations of telephone “tracking” and “leakage” made against the Commission by some individuals and groups in the social and alternative Media.
The Commission wishes to make the following clarifications, The Commission denies the allegations in their entirety. By the provisions of the Nigerian Communication Act (NCA) 2003 and other extant Laws of the Federation, the Commission does not and cannot “track” nor “leak” telephone conversations of anyone.
“The Commission has reported the allegations, which we take seriously, to relevant security agencies for proper investigation and necessary action.
“The Commission restates its commitment to discharge its responsibilities to the Nigerian people in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the NCA 2003; and other extant Laws of the Federation; and global best practices.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission denies these allegations and advises the public to disregard them.”