According to a report by SaharaReporters, the operatives of the Edo State Police Command, Zone 5, on Saturday, arrested the manager of a multinational telecommunications company, MTN, in Benin City for allegedly forging call logs in an attempt to frustrate police investigations into an abduction and assault case involving some Nigerian Army personnel.
The senior official was said to have repeatedly refused to honour police invitations to explain over 65 errors/discrepancies in the call logs that the company released to the police in the course of the investigation into the abduction of Sylvester Ekpemokan, whose illegal detention resulted in his death.
A Nigerian man has previously complained of how officers of the Nigerian Army had allegedly detained his driver, Ekpemokan, since August 2021 over a claim that he hit a military man’s car.
Ekpemokan went to work on August 10, 2021, precisely and did not return, after the military men abducted and kept him in their guardroom in Benin City, Edo State.
He said after making several efforts, he realised that his driver had been detained at the guardroom at the Nigeria Army Headquarters, 4 Mechanised Brigade, Benin.
According to him, one of the soldiers identified as Valentine, who ordered his driver’s detention, had asked him to bring N40,000 to facilitate his driver's release.
The man said the soldier was eventually arrested after it was revealed that he wanted to extort money from them.
He said the Nigerian Army thereafter promised to facilitate his driver’s release but nothing was done.
The man said he later reported the matter to the police who started an investigation after his complaint.
He, however, said efforts to apprehend the military men behind the case proved abortive after MTN allegedly forged the call logs required to facilitate the investigation.
The man claimed the call logs were deliberately forged to exonerate the army personnel involved in the matter. Meanwhile, Ekpemokan had died in detention.
But in a recent development, a source told SaharaReporters that the MTN Manager has now been arrested.
According to the source, there were over 65 errors/discrepancies in the call logs that MTN released to the police in the course of the investigation.
"The police who had earlier expressed dismay at the manner the call logs were forged, invited the MTN manager for his explanation but the manager refused to honour several police invitations.
"The call logs MTN released to the Nigeria Police Force exonerated the suspects despite several witnesses and overwhelming evidence against them.
“The call logs have over 65 errors, in several instances, the major suspects were at three different states at the same time i.e. hour, minute and seconds.
”MTN call logs stated that Uche Collins was in Kaduna, Benin and Niger states at the same hour, minute and second.
“Another MTN subscriber, Rasheed was in Edo, Delta and Ogun states at the same hour, minute and second, even the owner of the bus, which official records of Army Headquarters 4 Mechanized brigade stated was inside the brigade but MTN call logs stated that he was at Igueben Market in Esan land.
“All the call logs of the four MTN subscribers were forged to exonerate the suspects.
“We are begging the Nigerian public, Human Rights Organizations, and Nigerians to take this matter as a matter of utmost national importance.
“MTN assumed that the Nigerian institutions are weak and have refused to apologise nor explain why they forged the call logs to exonerate the abductors of the bus driver who has been an MTN subscriber for many years. MTN cannot try this in South Africa, Nigerians must rise against this evil by MTN."