NO RESPITE FOR NDUME AS FG FILES FRESH CHARGES
The State Security Service [SSS] on Monday filed fresh charges against Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume at a Federal High Court in Abuja in a move that would prolong his days in custody.
An Abuja Chief Magistrate was billed to take a decision on his bail application pending the time the old charges preferred against him were withdrawn following an application moved by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Clement Osagie, to that effect.
Chief Magistrate Oyewumi Oyebola granted the application in view of the fresh charges filed against the embattled Senator before a Federal High Court.
Ndume, who had been in the SSS custody since last week, is standing trial for alleged breach of official trust and criminal intimidation by anonymous communication even as he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But his accomplice and former spokesman of Boko Haram, Umaru Ali Konduga, also known as Usman Al-Zawahiri, who was arraigned along with him, pleaded guilty to the charges and was consequently convicted by the court.
Chief Magistrate Oyebola convicted Konduga in line with Section 318 of the Criminal Code, but stayed the sentence following the plea of the prosecution counsel; Mr. Osagie to enable the SSS concludes its investigation to establish the link existing between Sen. Ndume and the convict.
Highlights of some of his admissions are: 'That he was recruited by a political party stalwart in Maiduguri, Borno State; that 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. He also said that the pseudo name, Usman Al-Zawahiri was given to him by the said politician to portray him as an extremist as well as to conceal his true identity.
'That one of his benefactors promised to pay him N10million to work for his party, but the benefactor died on his way to deliver the part payment of N5 million.
'That consequent upon this, the suspect claimed a serving member of the National Assembly took over the running of his activities;
'That he was behind the threat messages sent to the judges of the election tribunal in Maiduguri. His mission was to ensure that the tribunal sacks the present government in Borno State.
'That he was also behind other threat messages sent to Governor Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Governor Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Amb. Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, ex- President Olusegun Obasanjo, and Justice Sabo Adamu, Chairman of the Election Petitions Tribunal in Borno State;
•That most of the threat text messages he sent to Justice Adamu, were allegedly scripted and relayed to him by the National Assembly member.
•That the threat text messages eventually led to the relocation of the tribunal from Maiduguri to Abuja.
'Also that the same legislator promised to send him some telephone numbers of members of the Galtimari Committee on Security in the North-East before he was arrested; and that the telephone number and content of the text message sent to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice were also given to him by the legislator to compel him (AGF) to influence the judgment of the tribunal against the Government in Borno State.