Court quashes Ndume’s appeal
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has quashed the appeal filed by a embattled lawmaker, Senator Ali Ndume, who is standing trial on allegation of concealing information on operations of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram from law enforcement agencies.
Standing in the dock in, Senator Ndume representing Borno South Senatorial District had his hope dashed as the court threw out his application seeking to have the four count charge of breach of public trust against him quashed.
Presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole ruled that the reasons given by the defendant are not sufficient enough for the court to quash the charges against him as he has a case to answer.
Justice Kolawole thereafter dismissed the charges and set trial for July 3rd 2012.
In delivering ruling on the application, Justice Kolawole held that the evidence before him showed that Ndume indeed has established links with the Boko Haram since he was a member of the presidential committee assigned to look into the security crisis in the north east allegedly perpetrated by the sect.
And on the argument put forward by the defence counsel that the charges constitute an abuse of court process on the grounds that a similar case was instituted against the Senator simultaneously before a Magistrate court.
Justice Kolawole held that the case against the accused person before him commenced from the date of his arraignment and not the date the charges were filed.
He added that the case before the Chief Magistrate has no similarities with what he is presently been held for while indicating that the charges brought against him at the lower court had been dismissed a week before Ndume was arraigned before him.
Following claims of bias as raised by counsel to Ndume, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) who had made the allegations of breach of public trust against his client should not be the same person to have signed the charge sheet.
Justice Kolawole held that as the Chief Law Officer, the AGF has the constitutional powers to carry out such mandate and that he is only a prosecutor and not a judge.
He thereafter dismissed the application in its entirety and insisted that he will not entertain any frivolous application intended to delay the trial.