Law News
Terrorism trial: Court grants Ndume permission to travel

A Federal High Court in Abuja where Senate Leader Ali Ndume is being prosecuted for terrorism charges has granted him permission to travel for lesser Hajj.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, ruling on Ndume’s application for  leave to embark on the trip, ordered the Deputy Chief Registrar, Litigation, of the Federal High Court to release to him his passport and other travel documents.

‎Ndume, a Borno State senator, who is being tried for terrorism charges including sponsoring the terrorist group, Boko Haram, is billed to embark on the trip to Mecca on July 3.

‎He had deposited the passport and other travel documents with the court registry in fulfilment of part of the bail conditions given to him by the judge after he was arraigned on December 3, 2013.

‎In granting Ndume’s prayer on Tuesday, Justice Kolawole ordered the senator to return the travel documents to the DCR (Litigation) within 72 hours of his return into the country.

‎Prosecuting counsel, Muslim Hassan, did not oppose the application moved by Ndume’s lawyer, Miss R.  Okotie-Eboh, during the Tuesday’s proceedings.

“Since it will not affect the date that has already been fixed for continuation of trial, we feel it is unnecessary to oppose the application,” Hassan had told Justice Kolawole on Tuesday.

‎Ruling, Justice Kolawole granted the prayer anchoring his decision on the fact that the prosecution did not oppose the application filed on June 23, 2015 and that Ndume had been granted such applications in the past.

‎The trial will continue on July 2 when the prosecution is expected to call its fourth witness.

Justice Kolawole had, during the previous proceedings on June 10, 2015, frowned on the prosecution for causing delay in the trial.

The lawyer who appeared for the prosecution during the proceedings, Mrs. G.N Okafor, had told Justice Kolawole on Wednesday that fourth prosecution witness, who was scheduled to be in court on that day, was absent because he took ill.

The prosecution had, through its third witness, tendered on December 11 and 14, 2012, some call logs and three digital video discs containing call data records intended to prove the allegation that Ndume had interactions with some Boko Haram members.

Also admitted were documents containing findings based on the investigations carried out by a Special Investigation Panel set up by the Department of State Services on the case.

A prosecution witness  told the trial court that there were 73 instances of communication between Ndume and Konduga.

‎Ndume was arraigned on four counts of terrorism after he was implicated by a suspected member of the violent sect, Ali Konduga, who had since been convicted and sentenced for terrorism charge‎.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was accused of sponsoring the Boko Haram sect, and failing to disclose the cell phone number of Konduga, which was alleged to be in his (Ndume’s) possession.

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