23 Nov 2011

Alleged Boko Haram Sponsor, Senator Ali Ndume Charged to Court

A serving Senator representing Borno South, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume was Tuesday dragged to Wuse Abuja Magistrate Court presided over by Mrs. Oyebode Oyewumi charged with felony and breach of trust amounting to disclosing a classified document. 

He was charged along with one Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (A.K.A) Usman Al-Zawahiri who was paraded on Monday before newsmen. in Abuja by the state security service. The SSS identified the man as the spokesperson for Boko Haram, the Islamic militant group based in Maiduguri, Borno state.

At the court proceeding which lasted about 75 minutes from exactly 2pm, Senator Ndume pleaded not guilty to the charge read to him by the court register while Ali Konduga after listening to the charge read to him through an interpreter one Mustapha Shehu Ismail pleaded guilty saying that he did what was read to him.

When he pleaded guilty Magistrate Oyewumi then wanted to hear more from him on the offense he committed but the SSS persecution counsel one Cliff Osage objected saying such could jeopardize investigation on Senator Ndume who did not plead guilty since their case  are all related. Three lawyers Nnaemeka C. I; leading Obainoke .F.H and Udeh B.I announced appearance for the Senator and Konduga and tried to object to some positions of the prosecution but were overruled.

Senator Ali Ndume (l) and Umar Konduga (right) in court
The Magistrate and the lawyers however agreed that Konduga can give insight into his offence without saying anything as it concerns Senator Ndume. He then said that he sent some threatening text messages to some prominent public officers including, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, the state Governors of Niger Babangida Aliyu and his Jigawa state counterpart Sule Lamido. He also sent to one Justice Sambo of Borno Election tribunal; former Minister Sanusi Daggashi and Ambassador Tafida.

The Magistrate then convicted him according to section 398 of the penal code which attracts two years imprisonment. The section states that “whoever commits the offense of criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication or having taken precaution to conceal the name or abode of the person from whom the threat comes, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years”
 
However, following the pleading of the SSS counsel, the sentencing was deferred and the case adjourned till 12 noon on December 6 for trial. The defence lawyers however applied and obtained court order for an unhindered access to the suspects but were directed to make the application for bail formal. The Magistrate also directed that Senator Ndume who said he is suffering from prostate cancer should be given adequate medical attention on his request. She directed that they be kept in SSS custody. 

The SSS Spoke lady Marilyn Ogar had while parading Konduga to newsmen on Monday said that his arrest further confirms the Service position that some of the Boko Haram extremists have political patronage and sponsorship and that he has so far made valuable confessions in this regard.

She said that Sanda has already made some confessions which included that he was recruited by a political party stalwart in Maiduguri, Borno State and following the compulsory registration of all SIM cards nationwide, he was asked to steal a SIM card which he used in sending; threat text messages with the pseudo name, Usman AL-ZAWAHIRI given to him by the said politician to portray him as an extremist as well as conceal his true identity;

He also confessed that one of his benefactor’s promised to pay him Ten Million Naira (N10 million) to work for his party but by stint of fate, he died on his way to deliver the part payment of Five Million Naira (N5 Million) to AL-ZAWAHIRI and Senator Ali Ndume took over the running of his activities.

Source: ThisDayLive

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