Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume who is currently under going prosecution for supporting/financing the dreaded Boko Haram sect and with-holding vital security information from security agencies had fingered the vice president as being in the know about his (Ndume) transactions and contacts with the sect.
Senator Ndume said on oath before a Federal High Court in Abuja that “the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Namadi Sambo, is also aware that he was in contact with the Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad (otherwise known as ‘Boko Haram’).”
Meanwhile, in his bid to exculpate himself from the charge, Ndume, in the affidavit which was deposed on his behalf by one Hauwa Abubakar, a legal practitioner in the chambers of his lead counsel, Messrs Rickey Tarfa, SAN, read in part:
â€œThe said Presidential Committee was mandated amongst other terms of reference, to consider any other initiatives that will serve to engender enduring peace and security in the area.
The committee swung into action with a mandate inter alia to dialogue with, negotiate with and arrive at an amicable settlement with the said â€œBoko Haramâ€ sect.
â€œHe was contacted via phone by people who claimed to be members of the Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad (otherwise known as â€˜Boko Haramâ€™) as a result of being a member of the Presidential Committee to find amicable settlement to the issue of security confronting the nation.
â€œHis first contact with the said Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad (otherwise known as â€˜Boko Haramâ€™) was in the course of his national assignment on the security challenges in the North East of the country. â€œHe has never been a member of the Boko Haram and never provided logistics such as telephone numbers to the said terrorist sect or any member(s) of the said sect or any Ali Sanda Umar Konduga.
â€œHe never received any information from Ali Umar Konduga on planned attacks on judges of the Borno State Election Tribunal. The first time he was contacted by one Ali was on 4th of October, 2011 after his inauguration as a member of the said Presidential Committee and in the course of his assignment on the security challenges in North East.
â€œHe promptly informed one Usman, who represented the State Security Service before the Presidential Committee of his contact with the said Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad (otherwise known as â€˜Boko Haramâ€™ sect) and also other members of the committee.
â€œHe also informed the Director of State Security Service of his interaction with the said â€œBoko Haramâ€ sect and forwarded a copy of the DVD he obtained from the sect to the Director of SSS for review.
â€œThe Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Namadi Sambo, is also aware that he was in contact with the Jammatul Sunnah Walid Jihad (otherwise known as â€˜Boko Haramâ€™).
â€œAll actions taken by him with respect to the â€œBoko Haramâ€ were for and on behalf of the said Presidential Committee as he was mandated by the said Committee. Before his appointment as a member of the Committee, he never had any contact with the said sect or any member or in possession of the telephone numbers of any member of the sect.
â€œI know of a fact that the charge as constituted is an abuse of court process. There is no offence disclosed against the Accused /Applicant in the proof of evidence.
â€œThe proof of evidence does not disclose any prima facie case against the Accused/ Applicant. There is nothing to link the accused with the alleged offences committed as stated on the charge.
â€œThe Complainant/Respondent will not be prejudiced by the grant of the reliefs sought in this application. It is in the interest of justice to grant this applicationâ€, he added.
Having raised allegations against the Vice President, Sambo, and the Director of the SSS, Nigerians are watching to see how the Attorney General of the Federation is going to handle the matter since no one is presumed to be above the law.
If indeed Ndume is facing trial over his alleged non disclosure of information to security agencies pertaining to planned attacks by the terrorist sect, what then should be the fate of any one found to have acted as an accessory to the alleged crime?
Will the AGF summon the VP to appear before the trial court to exonerate himself over the allegation meted against him by the accused person? How far can the Federal Government really go on this one? Is this trial another wild-goose chase?
These are pressing questions that should be answered in due course.