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Court Transfers Alleged Boko Haram Senator To Prison Custody

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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… To Rule On Bail Application On December 19.

December 16, (THEWILL) – After listening to arguments in the bail hearing from both prosecution and defence in the terror related suit filed against alleged Boko Haram sponsor, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South), Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court Abuja Friday ordered the State Security Service (SSS) to transfer the senator to Kuje Prison pending the determination bail plea slated for December 19, 2011.

Justice Kolawole said it is improper in law for the accuser to continue to hold the accused adding that prisons are recognized in law as the ideal place to hold those being prosecuted.

Ndume faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted. The charges preferred against him are as follows:

*That you, Mohammed Ali Ndume (m) on or about the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja being in possession of the mobile phone number of Ali Sanda Umar Kodunga (alia Usma Al-Zawahiri) a terrorist Spokesman of the Boko Haram Sect which you know to be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of the said Ali Umar Kodunga did fail to disclose same information to a law officer as soon as reasonably practicable and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 7(1) of the same Act.

* That you, Mohammed Ali Ndume (m) on or about the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja, having received information from Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, a terrorist spokesman of the Boko Haram sect regarding planned attacks on judges of the Borno State Election Tribunal and the National Assembly, which you know to be of material assistance in securing the prosecution of members of the said Boko Haram Sect for an offence under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 did fail to disclose same information to a law enforcement officer as soon as reasonably practicable and you thereby committed and offence contrary to section 7(1)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and punishable under Section 7(1) of the same Act.

*That you, Mohammed Ali Ndume (m) on or about the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja being in possession of the mobile phone number of Ali Sanda Umar Kodunga (alia Usma Al-Zawahiri) a terrorist Spokesman of the Boko Haram Sect which you know to be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of the said Ali Umar Kodunga did fail to disclose same information to a law officer as soon as reasonably practicable and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 7(1) of the same Act.

*That you, Mohammed Ali Ndume (m) on or about the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja having received information from Ali Sanda Umar Kodunga a terrorist Spokesman of the Boko Haram Sect regarding planned attacks on judges of the Borno State Election Tribunal and the National Assembly, which you know to be of material assistance in securing the prosecution of members of the said Boko Haram Sect for an offence under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 did fail to disclose same information to a law enforcement officer as soon as reasonably practicable and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 7(1)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and punishable under Section 7(1) of the same Act.

The Senator was escorted to court by a team of SSS personnel.

Moving the motion for bail, Ndume’s counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa, SAN, cited the provisions of Section 35 (4) (5) of the 1999 Constitution, arguing that the charges preferred against his client allowed him bail, adding that the senator needed to have access to proper medicare because of his ‘fragile health condition.’ He assured the court that accused would not jump bail and neither would he interfere with evidence in the matter when admitted to bail. Tarfa further prayed the court to grant him bail on self recognition under very limited conditions.

However, countering the bail application filed by the Defence, prosecution led by Mrs. Olufunmilayo Fatunde dismissed the health concern submitted by the Defence saying it was meant to mislead the court, adding that the accused would abscond as the State had a water-tight case against him. She further submitted that Boko Haram as a terrorist organization poses a national security challenge to Nigeria.

Prosecution urged the court to deny the bail application and instead order a speedy trail.

"Whatever medication they brought for him, he was allowed to take it. There was no special request from any medical doctor concerning the state of his health. Making heavy weather about his health is an afterthought and I most humbly ask my lord to discountenance it."

"I will also urge your lordship to take cognizance of the threat that the Boko Haram sect poses to national security…,” the Prosecution told the court.

The trial according to Justice Kolawole will begin on February 02, 2011 and run through the 7th and 14th of the same month.