Former senate leader, Ali Ndume, who currently represents Borno in the upper legislative chamber of the national assembly has been cleared by a federal high court in Abuja on Tuesday over charges bordering on sponsorship of the Boko Haram sect which were instituted against him by the federal government in 2011.
Gabriel Kolawole, the presiding judge, dismissed the four charges of terrorism levelled against the senator on the grounds that no prima facie case was established against him.
Upholding the defendant’s no-case submission, the judge ruled that the prosecution failed to establish a relationship between the defendant and the alleged crime of withholding information on terrorism activities as well as sponsoring the sect.
The prosecution had alleged that the senator was providing logistics to aid Boko Haram in their operations including giving them access to contacts of top government officials.
It had also alleged a link between Ndume and Ali Konduga, a member of the sect, who had since been convicted and sentenced for terrorism charges.
The judge, while striking out the charges, faulted the prosecution for failing to provide enough evidence in respect of the charges.
Kolawole said although the defendant admitted to having contact with the sect members while acting on behalf of the federal government in the presidential committee set up to look at the security challenges in the north-east and volunteering information to top government officials including Namadi Sambo, former vice-president, the prosecution did not invite them to give evidence in the trial.
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The judge also made reference to Ndume’ s statements where he had claimed that, contrary to the prosecution’s case, he had disclosed information about the sect to Sambo and the then director- general of the Department of State Service.
He said the failure of the prosecution to invite the parties mentioned to give evidence had disrupted the case as it hindered the prosecution from proving the allegations.
He also ruled that Peter Olayiwola, the information technology expert, invited by the prosecution to exploit the content of Ndume’ s and Konduga’s phones, was unable to perform the task due to a technical problem.