Terrorism Sponsorship Charge: I’ve No Case to Answer, Ndume Tells Court

Senator Ali Ndume, who is standing trail over alleged sponsorship of terrorism, told the court, Tuesday, that he has no case to answer.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has earlier charged Ndume with a four count charge bordering on sponsorship of terrorist activities.
Ndume is the immediate past majority leader in the Senate.
Ndume told Justice Gabriel kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja, Tuesday, that the Federal government has not in anyway established a prima facie case against him or linked him with the said crime.
In a notice of a no case submission, argued by his counsel, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), the Senator maintained that the charges brought against him since November 30, 2011, has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt as required by law at the end of the prosecution’s case.
The Senator admitted he had contact with the dreaded Boko Haram sect and that the contact came about when he was appointed into the Presidential Committee on Security Matters to negotiate for peace with the terrorist group.
Ndume maintained that the charges against him were unjust and unfair because he passed the report of his contact with the terrorists to the then Vice President, Namadi Sambo and the then Director-General of the state Security Service.
He further told the court that the charge of failure to disclose information on the workings of Boko Haram cannot be sustained against him because the prosecution did not lead any evidence to that effect.
“Clearly from the totality of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, there is no ingredients of the charges proved as required by law.
“The analysis of the mobile phones seized from the defendant and subjected to forensic examination by the prosecution did not reveal any offence committed”, the counsel submitted.
He therefore asked the court to strike out the charges against Ndume on the grounds that no prima facie case has been established against him to warrant his going to defend himself.
However, the prosecution counsel, Grace Okafor, urged the court to compel Senator Ndume to open his defence in the charges against him on the account that the prosecution witnesses have effectively linked him with the crime.
Okafor said that the charge against the Senator has to do with the failure to disclose material information to the security agents on Boko Haram and rendering support to the terrorist group, adding that Ndume in his own statement tendered and admitted in court as exhibit, confirmed that he has enormous information on Boko Haram which he refused to disclose to government.
The prosecution’s counsel said that the credible evidences adduced by the prosecution witnesses were 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 corroborated the evidence of the prosecution that he had volume of information on the terrorist group which he refused to disclosed to the government.
“The volume of information found on him was revealing and warranted him been 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 Matter.
“Let the point be made here that witnesses of the government have by one way or the other linked the charge against the defendant and this court as an impartial should order the defendant to open defence on the charges against him. It is even in the interest of the defendant and justice that this case be heard on its own merit, instead of upholding the no case submission”, she said.
Justice kolawole after taken arguments from the two parties adjourned ruling till July 4, 2017.
It would be recalled that the Federal government had in 2011 arraigned Senator Ndume, representing Borno South at the Senate for allegedly supporting the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Author: News Editor

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