Ali Ndume Finally Opens Up
Suspended Senator Ali Ndume, who is currently facing trial for allegedly sponsoring terrorism, has admitted being in contact with the Boko Haram sect.
Senator Ndume who stated this while speaking at the federal high court, Abuja, on Tuesday, said his contact with the sect was established when he was appointed to the presidential committee on security matters to negotiate for peace with the group.
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He said the charges against him were unjust and unfair since he revealed information he got from Boko Haram to former Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the then director-general of the Department of State Service (DSS).
Adding that the charge of failure to disclose information on the workings of Boko Haram could not be sustained against him.
The federal government arraigned Ali Ndume in 2011 and re-arraigned him in 2013 on a four-count charge of allegedly sponsoring the sect. The offence, according to the federal government, contravened sections 3, 4 and 7 of the terrorism prevention act 2011.
Ndume, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
When the matter was called on Tuesday for counsel to adopt their addresses, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), his counsel, Gabriel Kolawole, told the judge that the federal government had not established a prima facie case against his client.
He also said the government was unable to link Ndume to the said crime.
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Tarfa maintained that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt, the charges brought against him since November 30, 2011.
“Clearly, from the totality of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, the ingredients of the charges have not been proved as required by law,” he said.
“The analysis of the mobile phones seized from the defendant and subjected to forensic examination by the prosecution did not reveal any offence committed.”
He thus asked the court to strike out the charges against Ndume on the grounds that no prima facie case had been established against him to warrant him defending himself.
The prosecuting counsel, Geraldine Okafor, however, urged the court to compel Ndume to open his defence on the grounds that government’s witnesses had effectively linked him to the crime.
Okafor said that the charges against the senator had to do with the failure to disclose material information to security agents on Boko Haram and rendering support to the group.
She said that Senator Ali Ndume, in his statement tendered and admitted in court, confirmed that he had enormous information on Boko Haram, but refused to disclose the information to the government.
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According to her, the credible evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses have been corroborated by the defendant himself in the three statements he made to security agents.
“His admission that he was a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Matters also corroborates the evidence of the prosecution that he had volumes of information on the terrorist group which he refused to give to the government.
“The volume of information found on him was revealing and warranted his being charged to court.
“The prosecution is not fishing for information but in law, the defendant has to offer information being a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Matters.
“Let the point be made here that witnesses of the government have by one way or the other linked the charge against the defendant to him and this court, as an impartial court, should order the defendant to open his defence.
“It is even in the interest of the defendant and justice that this case be heard on its merit, instead of upholding the no-case submission.”
The case was however adjourned until July 4 for ruling.