Senator Ali Ndume
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
A prosecution witness yesterday told the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, that the senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Mohammed Aliyu Ndume, gave the telephone number of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), to members of Boko Haram.
The witness, James Ene Izi, an Assistant Director with the State Security Service (SSS), said the jailed former spokesperson of the sect, Ali Konduga, revealed in his confessional statement that Ndume gave him the AGF's phone number and asked him to threaten the AGF that there would be more violence in Maiduguri should the then governorship election petition tribunal rule against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
He also told the court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, that Ndume confessed to having links with Boko Haram.
According to him, the accused confessed in a voluntary statement made to the SSS that he had telephone interactions with Konduga.
The officer added that when the senator and Konduga were made to face each other, Ndume claimed that he was meeting him (Konduga) for the first time in his life, even though evidence obtained from phones logs showed that they had been communicating.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Thompson Olatigbe, the witness further stated, “In the process of investigating Konduga, he mentioned the name of the accused person, one Saidu Pindar, who is now deceased and some of the politicians that have influenced the Boko Haram activities in Maiduguri.
“Upon this, we invited the accused person formally for interrogation and he made voluntary confessional statement where he admitted that he has links with the sect.”
He told the court that during investigation, Konduga’s phone number was found on Ndume's handset.
He, however, stated that Ndume said in his statement that what linked him with Konduga was his membership of the presidential committee set up to look into the insecurity in the North-east.
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), the witness told the court that Konduga did not finger the senator as one of those financing the sect.
He also said that the investigative panel read in the confessional statement that he (Ndume) handed a compact disc obtained from Boko Haram to Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the Director General of the SSS.
Izi, however, stated that the panel did not have any audience with the vice-president to confirm Ndume’s claim, adding that part of the materials retrieved from the accused person’s house included a laptop, phones and an international passport.
Asked whether the panel read in Ndume's statement that he (Ndume) was threatened by Boko Haram, Izi answered in the affirmative, adding that the panel also read in the statement that the accused was a member of the presidential committee on the security challenges in the North-east.
After taking Izi’s evidence, Justice Kolawole adjourned further trial until December 1.