Senator Aliyu Mohammed Ndume
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Wednesday heard that Senator Aliyu Mohammed Ndume who is standing trial on a four-count charge of providing logistics and funding to Boko Haram sect, had a record of 73 communications in the form of short message service (SMS), multimedia service (MMS), and voice calls, with the convicted former spokesman of the sect, Konduga, who is currently serving a three-year jail term.
This disclosure was made by prosecution witness 3, Mr. Aliyu Usman, a forensic expert in the employ of the Department of State Security Services (SSS), who started giving evidence in the trial on Tuesday.
The witness also told the court that Ndume saved Konduga’s phone number on his own hand set as “Mal Ali BH” while Konduga saved the senator’s phone number on his own phone as “INDUME Sen Ali.”
Both phones were confiscated and had been tendered in evidence in the trial.
He further informed the court that the phone examination report gathered through forensic analysis was burned into 3 DVDs and was equally printed in hard copies.
The witness said: “These extractions, assessment, documentation and reporting were done according to forensic standard and submitted to the chairman of the special investigation panel which investigated the matter at the SSS office.”
Attempt by the prosecutor, Mr. Thompson Olatigbe, to tender the DVDs was however opposed by Ndume’s lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN).
Tarfa had observed that the materials which were computer generated were secondary evidence and not the original copies. Citing section 84 of the Evidence Act, Tarfa argued that for the materials to be admitted in evidence, the Act provided that a statement must be prepared to authenticate the veracity of such material and pointed out that there was no such statement accompanying the DVDs which the prosecution wanted the court to admit in evidence.
According to him, the absence of any statement showing that the copies were original and authentic makes them inadmissible.
He said there ought to be an explanation about the unavailability of the original copies as what was sought to be tendered were secondary evidence.
He said: “There is also no foundation as to why a secondary evidence is being sought to be tendered.”
He subsequently opposed the admission of the DVDs as exhibits in the matter.