Pinnacle Communications has described the allegation of task invasion made against it by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as misleading, untrue and aimed at hurting its impeccable image.
ICPC had threatened legal action against 44 property owners including two buildings in Abuja belonging to Pinnacle Communications Ltd, citing indebtedness to Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS. It also denied invading the office of the firm without a warrant.
ICPC’s statement came days after Pinnacle lamented the invasion of its Abuja office by officials of the anti-graft agency.
But Pinnacle, in a statement to DAILY POST on Wednesday, signed by its solicitor, Abayomi Oyelola, said that ICPC’s reply to its (Pinnacle) outcry was a ‘barefaced lie’ just to cover up its ‘shameful’ and reprehensible act.
Pinnacle Communications had earlier urged the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Malami Abubakar. SAN, to investigate the operatives of ICPC who unlawfully made attempt to break into the firm’s office in Asokoro area of the FCT without any warrant and order of court.
The statement added, “We are, however, not surprised with ICPC’s responses of January 24th & 27th, 2020 denying the brazen unlawful attitude of its operatives we briefed newsmen about.
“The commission’s claims in the said responses are grossly inaccurate, misleading and aimed to hurt Pinnacle’s impeccable image known to all and sundry.
“The law firm that handles Pinnacle’s correspondences with the agency has since sent a formal response to ICPC. Pinnacle noted the futile attempt of the commission at spreading the falsehood contained in its reply in the public space, hence this press statement to set the records straight.
“ICPC in its responses admitted the dastardly act of its operatives but claimed the action taken was precipitated by the requests of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the commission to investigate a case of tax evasion it alleged against pinnacle communications.
“For the record, Pinnacle Communication is not a tax defaulter in any way. The company’s tax papers are up to date. This is easy for the commission to verify. So ICPC LIED by claiming that its men were at Pinnacle’s office on tax issue.
“ICPC also claimed the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) transmitted plots 1718 and 1719 Cadzone A04, belonging to two companies mentioned, to them for investigation. The Pinnacle office invaded is on neither of the two plots quoted. Pinnacle’s office is on Plot 1721.
“The above shows that the plot on which the Pinnacle office is, which ICPC invaded, was not on the list sent to the commission by FIRS or FCTA for investigation.
“It is crystal clear that the commission’s operatives did not stumble on the firm’s property as claimed but rather the operatives intentionally invaded Pinnacle.
“Since the companies mentioned in the ICPC responses are different from Pinnacle and plots quoted different from that of Pinnacle, there was no reason, whatsoever, for the operatives to violently insist on gaining entrance into the building to effect an arrest and seal the firm.
“Even if their so-called coordinate was correct, the brazen action at that point would still amount to acting ultra vires.
“In any event, it is vitally imperative to state that Pinnacle communications, in whom ownership of the premises invaded by ICPC is vested is NOT ON THE RADAR of FIRS.
“ICPC further lied in the response that the Counsel who addressed the Press accosted their operatives on the day of the unlawful invasion.
“For the record, Mr Abayomi Oyelola mni, who addressed the press conference was not in Nigeria on the day of the invasion. As a matter of fact, he returned to Nigeria from London via BA 083 flight, the same day he addressed the press conference. This too can be verified.
“We will desist from descending into the arena of ignominy by joining issues over other false claims of the commission in the letters personally signed by Mr Akeem Lawal, the same man that was fingered by some investigative reporters as the one directly behind the assault.
“From the foregoing, therefore, it is obvious that Mr Akeem Lawal, on behalf of ICPC either did not get his facts rights or he is outrightly being mischievous and so he is the one who has acted in bad faith and not Pinnacle Communications or Abayomi Oyelola, mni.
“Pinnacle Communications is both a respectable and humble entity with strong beliefs in the assuaging power and effect of an apology from anyone and entity that has disparaged it.
“We, therefore, encourage the commission, since it has admitted the invasion to swallow the proverbial humble pie and tender an apology as Pinnacle Communications demands.
“We hope our admonition will be respectfully considered by letting wise counsel prevail in order to avoid endless and or unnecessary and costly litigation which will ensue, leading ICPC to squandering taxpayers money.”