21st March, 2012
Embattled Senator Aliyu Ndume representing Bornu South Senatorial District at the National Assembly who is standing trial on an alleged financing of terrorist activities of the Boko Haram sect on Wednesday moved to abort his trial.
His scheduled trial was stalled following a reference made by Ndume’s lawyers led by Mr. Hyeladzira Nganjiwa from the chambers of Mr. Rickey Tarfa, a senior advocate of Nigeria, to a pending motion filed on behalf of the embattled senator.
Mr. Nganjiwa told the court that they had a pending motion seeking for the quashing of the charges slammed on the senator by the State Security Service, SSS.
The prosecutor, Mrs. Olufumilayo Fatunde told the court that she is yet to see the motion but the defence produced evidence to show that the motion had been served on them.
Ndume is challenging his trial on the ground that there was no prima facie evidence in the proof of evidence linking him to the alleged offences.
He insisted that the charge is devoid of all the essential ingredients to suggest the commission of any offence.
The senator also claimed that his right to a fair hearing had been breached by the charge which was signed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke who is also a witness in the matter.
He also called on the court to quash the charge on the ground that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Senator Ndume was slammed with a 4-count charge by the State Security Services, SSS, wherein the senator was alleged to have been in possession of a telephone number which he knows to be important to law enforcement officials in unraveling the Boko Haram menace without obliging same to law enforcement agencies, an offence contrary to the provisions of Section 7 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act.
He allegedly ran foul of Section 3(b) of the Act for being the possessor and operator of a phone number which provided logistics and phone numbers of government officials, including those of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, to Kunduga, former Spokesman of the dreaded Boko Haram sect who was recently sentenced to a three year jail over terrorist activities.
He also allegedly received information from Kunduga regarding planned terrorist attacks on members of the Borno state Election Petition Tribunal judges but failed to disclose such to law enforcement agencies as well as rendering support to acts of terrorism through the provision of information to the sect through Kunduga.
Justice Kolawole adjourned proceedings in the trial till 26 April to allow the prosecutor to respond to the motion.
—Nnamdi Felix / Abuja