by Rachel Ogbu
The State Security Service, SSS has revealed to an Abuja Federal High Court that Senator Aliyu Ndume gave instructions to Ali Kodunga (a.ka Al-Zawahiri), of the Boko Haram sect to call and threaten the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN).
The SSS said when Ndume’s mobile telephone call logs were analysed during investigations; they discovered evidence linking him to terrorists. The Senator is now facing terrorism charges brought against him by the Federal Government.
When the trial resumed on Wednesday, a chief investigative officer in the SSS, James Inneh, told the court that Ndume gave Adoke’s phone number to Konduga.
According to Inneh, the alleged threat by Konduga was to force the AGF to influence the outcome of the election tribunal sitting in Borno State in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Konduga, in his confessional statement told the SSS that Ndume gave him the phone number of the AGF to threaten him (AGF) that they would make Borno State ungovernable if he did not ensure that the Borno State Election Petition Tribunal gave judgment in favour of the PDP,” Inneh said.
The agent admitted that Ndume gave some materials he obtained from Boko Haram to Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the Director-General of the SSS, while he served as a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North-East. “We investigated his claim by using our tradecraft. We did not have any audience with the VP but we investigated. His (Ndume) phones were sent to experts for analysis and after the phones were analysed, we did not tell him about our findings. He was not there when the analyses were carried out. Some of the materials we took from his house were laptops, GSM phones, an international passport and other things,” Inneh added.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, however, adjourned the trial to November 1- 5 and December 11, 2012.
Ndume had asked the court to acquit him of the charges, arguing that the proof of evidence filed by the prosecution did not link him with the sect. he argued that his alleged relationship with Konduga, which formed the basis of the charges against him, came as a result of his membership of the presidential committee set up to address the security challenges in the North-East.
Ndume told the court that before his appointment as a member of the committee, he had no contact with Konduga or any other member of the sect.
However, in a counter-affidavit, the prosecution counsel, Olufumilayo Fatunde, had asked the court to hold that Ndume’s trial must proceed summarily in line with Section 33(2) of the Federal High Court Act.
Ruling on the matter, the court maintained that, after studying the charges brought against the Senator, it found that he had a case to answer.
Kolawole said, “There is a link between the accused person and the offences listed in counts one to four.
“The mere presence of a probable defense to a criminal charge is not enough to quash the charge. The fact that an accused person denied the charges is not enough to quash the charges. There is a link between the accused person and some members of the Boko Haram.”
On June 14, 2012, a Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Kolawole, ruled that Ndume must face trial on four counts of terrorism.
Konduga on the other hand has since been convicted on two counts of criminal breach of public trust and intimidation through anonymous communication. He is currently serving a three-year prison term.
The court also dismissed a motion filed by his counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), seeking the dissolution of the charges against him. Ndume is accused of having links with Boko Haram and also being involved in its activities.