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NCC Executive VC denies claims of shutting APC fund raising platform

According to Juwah, there was never a time the Commission tampered with any platform of the APC for its campaign fund raiser as alleged.

Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has denied claims that the Commission ordered GSM operators to shut down the SMS fund raising platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

He further explained that the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, may have been wrongly advised on the matter.

"At no time did the APC, Fashola or any party for that matter enter into any agreement with the Commission for campaign services. The only time we got to know of this was when subscribers began to inundate our offices with the complaints that their privacies were being invaded through unsolicited text messages for votes by the political party. This invasion of privcacy came on the end of airtime balance check or re-load of airtime," Juwah said.

He continued: "But because we cannot joke with over 135 million active subscribers, majority of whom may not be interested in political campaigns, we wrote to the GSM operators who had entered into this deal with the political parties to stop such messages to avoid being branded as partisan.

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"We also wrote to other service providers not involved by advising them accordingly. Even at that, the NCC did not order any operator to shut any code for raising funds."

Last week, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos issued a restraining order to telcom firms to prevent them from stopping the APC fund raising SMS campaign.

This came shortly after the NCC clarified in a press statement by the Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, that the Value Added Service (VAS) providers (custodians of short codes) who make use of the platform of Mobile Network Operators, should ordinarily give the Commission a seven-day notification before releasing any adverts and promos on the networks, but unfortunately, the Commission did not receive any notification from them.

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