Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nigerian senator linked with terrorists bailed

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Embattled legislator representing Borno South senatorial district at the Upper Legislative Chamber, Senator Aliyu Ndume, who is standing trial before a Federal High Court siting in Abuja on alleged complicity in terrorist activities, was on Monday granted bail in the sum of 25 million Naira and two sureties in like sum.
The court also ordered that both sureties must be resident within the boundaries of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that one of them must be a National officer of the political party under whose platform Ndume won the election into the senate or a former or serving principal officer of the National Assembly under which the accused had served as a two terms member of the House of Representatives or currently serving in the senate.

The other would- be surety, according to the court must be an owner of a developed and inhabited landed property which value must not be less than 50 million Naira and must be valued by a valuer registered by the appropriate authority and that the valuation report of the property must be submitted to the court bearing the seals of the valuers.
The surety is also to swear to an affidavit of means and deposit two passport photographs as well as the title documents of the landed property and his international passport to the court along with his tax clearance certificate for the last 3 years showing that he pays tax at the appropriate time required by the law.
Ndume on his part, is to deposit his Travel documents with the courts registrar and undertake in his own writing, not to interfere with the witness(s). A breach of this undertaken, according to the court, will automatically lead to the revoking of the bail.
Furthermore, the court directed the senator to apply for variation within 14 days if he finds any of the conditions difficult to fulfill and ordered that he be remanded in Kuje prison pending his fulfillment of the bail conditions and directed the prison authority to effect his release immediately a clearance is received from the court indicating that the bail conditions had been met.
The court subsequently adjourned trial to. Thursday, 2nd February 2012.
In arriving at the decision to exercise the court’s discretion to grant bail in favour of Senator Ndume, the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, observed that the prosecution failed to place any material to support the claims that the senator will jump bail and or interfere with witnesses if granted bail.
The judge also declined the request by Ndume’s lawyers led by Mr. Rickey Tarfa, a senior advocate of Nigeria, for the senator to be granted bail on self recognizance noting that as a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who participated in makings laws aimed at prohibiting terrorist activities in Nigeria, that being charged with such offenses for which Ndume is standing trial, places a heavy burden on Ndume to clear his name as the offenses are such that ordinarily should earn him a disqualification from the senate.
Justice Kolawole further observed that granting the senator bail on self recognizance will amount to a mockery of the rule of law and the judicial process.
Senator Ndume was slammed with a 4 counts charge by the State Security Services, SSS, wherein the senator was alleged to have been in possession of a telephone number which he knows to be important to law enforcement officials in the unraveling of the Boko Haram menace without obliging same to law enforcement agencies. An offence contrary to the provisions of Section 7 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act.
He is also alleged to have ran foul of Section 3(b) of the Act for being the possessor and operator of a phone number which provided logistics and phone numbers of government officials, including those of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, to Kunduga, former Spokesman of the dreaded Boko Haram sect who was recently sentenced to a three year jail over terrorist activities.
He was also alleged to have received information from Kunduga regarding planned terrorist attacks on members of the Borno state Election Petition Tribunal judges but failed to disclose such to law enforcement agencies as well as rendering support to acts of terrorism through the provision of information to the sect through Kunduga.
Ndume pleaded not guilty to all the counts of the charge.
Source: http://www.247nigerianewsupdate.com/2011/12/20/nigerian-senator-linked-with-terrorists-bailed/

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