Terrorism Trial: Senator Ndume Says VP Namadi Sambo Was Aware Of His Activities With Boko Haram

*Even with the Governments reassurances on the present security challenge facing the country, the Boko Haram saga has become politicized. announcements of high profile arrest of Ranking members has been made yet it has not yielded any new information on the sect which can throw light on reasons for their actions. Instead the citizenry is still more confused on the true state of the issues;a case of the more you look the less you see.

The ongoing trial of the sitting
lawmaker representing Borno South
Senatorial District, Mohammed Ali
Ndume, over his alleged romance
with the Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna
Lidawati wal Jihad, otherwise known
as Boko Haram terrorist sect, may
have assumed a dangerous
dimension, considering that the
accused person has sworn before a
Federal High Court in Abuja that the
Vice President, Namadi Sambo, was
fully aware of his relationship with
the sect.
While challenging the legal
competence of the 4-count criminal
charge that was entered against
him by the Federal Government,
Ndume, through a 24-paragraph
affidavit he attached in support of
his motion seeking to quash the
charge, admitted having telephone
exchanges with members of the
Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad
though denied furnishing them with
classified information that has aided
their terrorist operations in the
country.
The embattled lawmaker who said
the first telephone exchange
between him and the sect was on
October 4, 2011, insisted that the
reason the sect approached him
was as a result of his being a
member of the Presidential
Committee that was inaugurated on
August 2, 2011, with a view to
addressing the security challenges
in the North Eastern part of the
nation.
It would be recalled that Ndume was
arrested by the States Security
Services, SSS, on November 21,
after a self-confessed spokesman of
the sect, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga,
fingered him as one of the major
sponsors of the sect. He was docked
before the high court on December
12, 2011, and subsequently
released on bail after he had spent
26-days in detention.
He was specifically accused of
violating sections 7(1) (b) and 3(b)
of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act,
2011, by not only disclosing
classified information to the terrorist
group, but also furnishing them
with phone numbers of top
government officials, including that
of the Attorney General of the
Federation.
Though the embattled lawmaker
pleaded not guilty to the allegation,
the federal government alleged that
he had “on or about the 4th day of
October, 2011 somewhere between
Maiduguri and Abuja, being in
possession of the mobile phone
number of Ali Sanda Umar Konduga
(alias Usman AI- Zawahiri), a
terrorist spokesman of the Boko
Haram sect which you know to be of
material assistance in securing the
apprehension of the said Ali Umar
Konduga, did fail to disclose same
information to a law officer as soon
as reasonably practicable and you
thereby committed an offence
contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the
Terrorism
(Prevention) Act, 2011 and
punishable under Section 7( 1) of
the same Act.”
Government further alleged that
though the sect notified the
accused person of their intention to
attack judges of the Borno State
Election Petition Tribunal and the
National Assembly, he failed to
disclose the information to security
agencies, adding that he used an
MTN GSM line, 08035998045, to
send telephone numbers of certain
public officers including the AGF, to
the Boko Haram spokesman for the
purpose of sending terrorist text
messages to them.
Investigations by Department ‘C’
had revealed that among those
billed to testify against him included
the said self-confessed spokesman
of the sect, Konduga, who was
earlier sentenced to three years
imprisonment by an Abuja Chief
Magistrate court which also ordered
that he should be remanded in the
custody of the SSS pending the
conclusion of investigation into the
alleged conviviality between the
sect and the lawmaker.
Meanwhile, in his bid to exculpate
himself from the charge, Ndume, in
the affidavit which was deposed on
his behalf by one Hauwa Abubakar,
a legal practitioner in the chambers
of his lead counsel, Messrs Rickey
Tarfa, SAN, read in part: “The said
Presidential Committee was
mandated amongst other terms of
reference, to consider any other
initiatives that will serve to
engender enduring peace and
security in the area.
The committee swung into action
with a mandate inter alia to
dialogue with, negotiate with and
arrive at an amicable settlement
with the said “Boko Haram” sect.
“He was contacted via phone by
people who claimed to be members
of the Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad
(otherwise known as ‘Boko Haram’)
as a result of being a member of the
Presidential Committee to find
amicable settlement to the issue of
security confronting the nation.
“His first contact with the said
Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad
(otherwise known as ‘Boko Haram’)
was in the course of his national
assignment on the security
challenges in the North East of the
country. “He has never been a
member of the Boko Haram and
never provided logistics such as
telephone numbers to the said
terrorist sect or any member(s) of
the said sect or any Ali Sanda Umar
Konduga.
“He never received any information
from Ali Umar Konduga on planned
attacks on judges of the Borno State
Election Tribunal. The first time he
was contacted by one Ali was on 4th
of October, 2011 after his
inauguration as a member of the
said Presidential Committee and in
the course of his assignment on the
security challenges in North East.
“He promptly informed one Usman,
who represented the State Security
Service before the Presidential
Committee of his contact with the
said Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad
(otherwise known as ‘Boko Haram’
sect) and also other members of the
committee.
“He also informed the Director of
State Security Service of his
interaction with the said “Boko
Haram” sect and forwarded a copy
of the DVD he obtained from the
sect to the Director of SSS for
review.
“The Vice President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency
Namadi Sambo, is also aware that
he was in contact with the Jammatul
Sunnah Walid Jihad (otherwise
known as ‘Boko Haram’).
“All actions taken by him with
respect to the “Boko Haram” were
for and on behalf of the said
Presidential Committee as he was
mandated by the said Committee.
Before his appointment as a
member of the Committee, he never
had any contact with the said sect
or any member or in possession of
the telephone numbers of any
member of the sect.
“I know of a fact that the charge as
constituted is an abuse of court
process. There is no offence
disclosed against the Accused /
Applicant in the proof of evidence.
“The proof of evidence does not
disclose any prima facie case
against the Accused/ Applicant.
There is nothing to link the accused
with the alleged offences committed
as stated on the charge.
“The Complainant/Respondent will
not be prejudiced by the grant of
the reliefs sought in this application.
It is in the interest of justice to grant
this application”, he added.
Having raised allegations against
the Vice President, Sambo, and the
Director of the SSS, Nigerians are
watching to see how the Attorney
General of the Federation is going to
handle the matter since no one is
presumed to be above the law.
If indeed Ndume is facing trial over
his alleged non disclosure of
information to security agencies
pertaining to planned attacks by the
terrorist sect, what then should be
the fate of any one found to have
acted as an accessory to the alleged
crime?
Will the AGF summon the VP to
appear before the trial court to
exonerate himself over the
allegation meted against him by the
accused person? How far can the
Federal Government really go on
this one? Is this trial another wild-
goose chase? These are pressing
questions that should be answered
in due course.

Source : Sahara Reporters

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