Boko Haram Surrender: It Should Not Be Blanket Amnesty And Pampering – Ndume

 

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has reaffirmed his stand against blanket amnesty for repentant Boko Haram fighters.

A few days ago, the Nigerian Army released a statement, saying the recent offensive operations by troops of Operation Hadin Kai have led Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in the North-East to surrender en masse, a report which stirred various reactions as to what becomes of the ‘repentant’ terrorists.

Speaking on the development as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Senator Ndume noted that this did not come to him as a surprise. He is, however, of the opinion that more must be done to the insurgents other than the pat on the back which seems to be the norm at the moment.

“It didn’t come to me as a surprise actually, because I’ve been saying for a long time that the armed forces and other security agencies of the country are handicapped, otherwise, they have the capacity and the ability to prosecute this war.

“Now that what they need is given to them, you can see the results within this short time. And I’m expecting more.

“It is only that, as I have said before, there shouldn’t be blanket amnesty and pampering treatment to those who have surrendered,” the lawmaker said.

READ ALSO: More Boko Haram Members Surrender In Borno, Beg For Forgiveness

‘The First Step’

According to him, what needs to be done now is to ensure that the seemingly contrite insurgents are carefully profiled without any rush to have them return to their communities.

The legislator is of the opinion that the army should be more focused on ensuring that the Boko Haram war is brought to an end even faster than it has been predicted in various quarters.

Senator Ndume has consistently opposed amnesty for the terrorists who have murdered thousands of Nigerians and displaced millions in an insurgency that has lasted over a decade.

 

 

Ndume went on to state that as the war draws to a denouement, what the nation must begin to turn its attention to should be the resettlement of those who have been displaced over time.

For him, it is after the citizens who bore the brunt of this conflict have been satisfactorily resettled, that the nation can begin to talk about how to reintegrate those who have wreaked havoc on the nation and are now pleading for mercy.

“The first step after getting them is the resettlement of people, now that the war is getting to an end or is almost ending. Then, we talk about profiling, investigating, and interrogating those that have surrendered.”

The lawmaker expressed confidence in the new leadership of the armed forces, emphasising that the well-coordinated inter-agency cooperation between the country’s security agencies will yield favourable results for all.

“I think it is a welcome development and I have confidence that more is to be seen with the new leadership and the new cooperation,” he said. “Just as we have been criticising the armed forces, that they are not doing enough, now that they are doing enough, and there is hope, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is a need for Nigerians to come out to support the military by encouraging them, and commending them for what they have done.”

Fund Army Before Setting Timeline To Tackle Insurgency, Ndume Tells FG

 

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Nigerian Army, Senator Ali Ndume has asked the Federal Government to fund the Army before setting a timeline to tackle insurgency.

He said the Federal Government can only set a timeline for the Nigerian Army to prosecute the fight against insurgency when adequate funding is made available to them

Senator Ndume stated this on Wednesday shortly after a closed-door meeting with the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Attahiru Ibrahim at the Army headquarters Abuja.

He said the military must be given money, more personnel, and equipment to carry out their assignment.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume

 

According to him, the Army has the daunting task of mitigating the various security challenges that in the country, and the National Assembly is very important in terms of giving the necessary legislative support to the Nigerian army.

Speaking on the utilization of funds so far given to the military and other procurement issues, Ndume said that can only be talked about when the army is adjudged not to have performed to expectation, and what matters now is tackling the various security challenges in almost all the regions of the country.

He assured that the National Assembly will always give necessary support to the Nigerian Army when it comes to the issue of budget and supplementary budgets submitted before the lawmakers.

Security Agents Arrest Maina In Niger Republic

A file photo of Abdulrasheed Maina.

 

The former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina has been arrested by security agents.

Although details of the arrest remain sketchy security sources confirmed to Channels Television that he has was arrested in the Niger Republic.

The security source said Maina was arrested by the operatives of the Niger Republic Intelligence Service in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday night.

Channels Television also gathered that Maina’s arrest was made possible due to an existing mutual relationship and security agreement between the neighbouring country.

The EFCC is prosecuting Maina for alleged money laundering to the tune of N2billion.

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Court Gives Ali Ndume 21 Days To Produce Maina

The trial judge, Justice Abang Okon issued a warrant for his arrest after he ‘jumped bail’ and failed to appear in court.

He was said to have stopped attending his trial since September 29, 2020, prompting Justice Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the remand of his surety, Senator Ali Ndume, last week.

The court had also empowered the Federal Government to sell Senator Ndume’s property at Asokoro in order to recover the N500 million bond.

Justice Abang said Ndume will be released from Kuje once he is able to pay the N500 million or if the prosecutor is able to dispose of the property and payment is made to the Federal Government.

Justice Okon Abang later granted Ndume bail noting that the decision was based on the Senator’s record of good behaviour in court.

The bail was granted to the Senator pending the hearing and determination of his appeal filed at the Court of Appeal challenging his remand.

 

Maina’s Case: Court Grants Ndume Bail

 

A Federal High Court has granted bail to the senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume.

Senator Ndume has been in detention since Monday over his suretyship for former Pension Reforms Task Team Chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina, who had jumped bail.

But Justice Okon Abang who granted the bail on Friday said the decision was based on the senator’s record of good behavior in court.

The bail was granted to the senator pending the hearing and determination of his appeal filed at the Court of Appeal challenging his remand.

He ordered the senator to produce one surety who must be a resident of Abuja and present evidence of ownership of property anywhere in Abuja.

According to the judge, the surety must also depose to an Affidavit of Means to indicate his readiness to forfeit the bail guaranty should the senator also jump bail.

Ndume had been remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre for failing to produce the former Pension Task Team boss.

He had stood as surety for Maina, who is standing trial on alleged money laundering charges.

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However, Maina has repeatedly failed to appear in court for the continuation of his trial.

Consequently, in a bench ruling delivered by Justice Abang on November 3, the court ordered his remand pending the fulfillment of his bail bond, which is a forfeiture of N500 million to the Federal Government.

The court had also empowered the Federal Government to sell Senator Ndume’s property at Asokoro in order to recover the N500 million bond.

Justice Abang added that Ndume will be released from Kuje once he is able to pay the N500 million or if the prosecutor is able to dispose of the property and payment is made to the Federal Government.

‘It Has No Effect On The Economy’: Ndume Faults Calls To Slash NASS Members’ Pay

 

Senator Ali Ndume has faulted calls for the slashing of National Assembly members’ pay and believes the lawmakers’ emoluments do not have any effect on the economy. 

“It has no effect on the economy,” Ndume said on Channels Television’s Hard Copy on Friday evening when asked about the impact of the legislators’ pay on the country’s economy.

The lawmaker who represents Borno South in the Senate explained that members of the National Assembly only got N128 billion allocation in the 2021 budget of N13 trillion.

“For me, call out the National Assembly, cancel the NASS. That means you have N128 billion reduction but does that make any difference? Because this thing (calls for the reduction of National Assembly members’ pay) is getting too much for people like me that have come out to serve; not because I came out to be rich.”

The former House of Representatives member argued that no legislature has ever garnered wealth because he was at the National Assembly.

“No legislature, go and check the record, has come out and become a rich man because he was one time a legislator,” Ndume argued. “Go and check.”

According to him, since he ventured into politics in 2003, his lifestyle has not changed. He also insisted that the problem with the country is the cost of governance across all arms of government.

“I joined politics in 2003. Go and ask people, my lifestyle has not really changed. The cost of governance is the problem. The cost of governance at all levels including the National Assembly,” the lawmaker added. “But you cannot be talking about the expensive nature of governance, isolating only the National Assembly.”

He noted that apart from salaries, the budgetary allocation for members of the National Assembly carters for overhead cost and the payment of staff.

“The office is run by money,” he insisted.

Court Gives Ali Ndume 21 Days To Produce Maina

Logo of a court gavel

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has given Senator Ali Ndume 21 days to produce the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has repeatedly failed to appear in court for the continuation of his trial on alleged money laundering charges.

Senator Ali Ndume who is representing Borno south is standing as surety for Mr. Maina.

The former pension boss is facing a 12-count criminal charge preferred against him and a firm, Common Input Properties & Investment Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency alleged that Mr Maina used the account of the firm and laundered funds to the tune of about 2 billion naira, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.

A file photo of Abdulrasheed Maina.

The EFCC has already opened its case and called witnesses that included bankers and Maina’s relatives who testified and tendered exhibits in evidence before the court but the defendant has since September 29, failed to appear in court for his trial even as the prosecution alleges that he has jumped bail.

Senator Ndume had on October 2 when the matter came up for a trial, informed the court that he does not know the whereabouts of the defendant just as he laments that all his efforts to locate Mr. Maina proved abortive.

In a bench ruling, Justice Okon Abang, in the interest of justice, asked Senator Ndume to produce the first defendant within twenty-one days.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to November 18, for trial.

 

Borno Senatorial Election: Tribunal Dismisses Petition Challenging Ndume’s Victory

 

The Borno State Election petition tribunal has dismissed the suit challenging the victory of Senator Ali Ndume as the representing the state at the 9th Assembly.

Kudla Satumari of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the court to seek a nullification of the election citing alleged irregularities which includes thuggery, intimidation of voters, results manipulation and non-compliance with the electoral laws.

The PDP candidate asked the tribunal to order a fresh election within 90 days.

In his ruling, the tribunal chairman Justice Peter Kekemeke, dismissed the petition, saying the petitioner was unable to substantiate his allegations beyond reasonable doubt.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Peter Kekemeke summed up the prayers of the petitioner into :

READ ALSO: N5.5bn Senators’ Cars Purchase ‘Purely Legal’ If Budgeted For – Adeyeye

1. Whether or not the February 23rd Borno south senatorial district election is invalid by reasons of corrupt practices and non compliance with the electoral laws.

2. Whether the first respondent was not dully elected by the majority of the votes.

But rather said that the petitioner failed to prove his allegations of over voting beyond all reasonable doubt.

He added that petitioner is unable to prove this allegation, polling units by pulling units as required by the law.

PDP Endorses Ndume, Bago For NASS Leadership

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has endorsed Senator Ali Ndume and Honourable Mohammed Bago as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.

The endorsement of the two candidates for NASS leadership was contained in a statement signed on Tuesday by the national secretary of the PDP, Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri.

The statement follows a meeting of the National Working Committee, party leaders, state governors as well as PDP Senators.

“The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after very extensive consultations with critical stakeholders resolves to support Senator Ali Ndume and Hon. Umar Mohammed Bago for Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives respectively, ahead of National Assembly inauguration on Tuesday.

“The final resolution on Senator Ndume and Hon. Bago was reached at the end of a decisive meeting of members of the National Working Committee, party leaders, state governors as well as senators and members-elect on the platform of the PDP,” the statement read in part.

The statement added that the decision was made in the best interest of the nation.

“This decision is in the best interest of the nation, in line with our party’s determination to deepen democracy, ensure a strong and independent legislature, strict compliance with the principle of separation of powers as well as constitutional checks and balances in the polity.

“All senators and members-elect on the platform of the PDP are to be guided accordingly.”

Senate Presidency: It Is Too Late For Me To Step Down – Ndume

 

Senator Ali Ndume has said that it is too late for him to step down as a contender for the position of Senate President in the 9th Assembly.

Ndume made the statement after another key contestant in the race, Senator Danjuma Goje stepped down for Senator Ahmed Lawan.

In an interview with newsmen on Thursday, Senator Ndume insisted that he is not ruffled by Senator Goje’s decision to step down for senator Lawan who is the consensus candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

READ ALSO: 9th Assembly: Goje Steps Down For Lawan In Senate Presidency Race

Ndume insisted that he is standing for the truth and practice of true democracy.

He said, “Goje is entitled to his decision…. It is too late for me to step down now.

“I have said it several times that I am contesting based on my convictions and believe.

“I am doing something that is very important for democracy, democracy cannot thrive or there is no democracy without election.

“People should be allowed to elect whoever they want as a leader, it is very very important.

“All these people that are trying to bring this imposition are not doing it in the interest of the people and even themselves because if there was imposition, then those that are trying to impose on us will not be there.

“What I am doing is to stand for democracy, stand for what is right and speak the truth even if I am alone and I am sure that at the end of it, history will vindicate me for standing for the truth, for standing for democracy and standing for what is right”.

Senate Recalls Ndume After 90-day Suspension

The Senate has agreed that its former Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume can resume duties on Wednesday, November 15th.

The Borno, All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator was placed on suspension, ninety days ago, following the recommendation of the ethics and privileges committee of the Senate headed by Samuel Anyanwu.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Senate To Reinstate Suspended Ndume

It will be recalled that Senator Ndume was suspended on March 30 after he drew the attention of the Senate’s leadership to some reports in the media where it was alleged that the Senate’s invitation of the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, was in respect of the seizure of a vehicle imported for Senator Saraki with forged papers.

The reports had also claimed that the Customs boss was summoned by the lawmakers in connection to the controversy over Senator Dino Melaye’s educational qualifications.

Also, a Federal High Court Sitting in Abuja, on Friday, November 10, voided the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume and ordered the Senate to reinstate him.

However, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu during the Senate sitting on Tuesday, November 14 says Senator Ndume was recalled without prejudice to the current court processes.

Court Orders Senate To Reinstate Suspended Ndume

Court Voids Ndume’s Suspension, Orders Reinstatement

 

A Federal High Court Sitting in Abuja has voided the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume and ordered the Senate to reinstate him.

Senator Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial district, was suspended by the leadership of the Senate in March.

In a judgment delivered on Friday, Justice Babatunde Quadri, declared the lawmaker’s suspension as illegal and ordered his reinstatement.

Justice Quadri specifically ordered the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Senate to ensure prompt payment of Ndume’s outstanding salaries and allowances.

He added that the suspension was an exhibition of lawlessness on the part of the Senate, insisting that it was unlawful for the Senate leadership to have suspended the senator in the first place.

Ndume, the immediate past Senate leader, was suspended On March 30 after he drew the attention of the Senate’s leadership to some reports in the media.

In the reports, it was alleged that the Senate’s invitation of the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, was in respect of the seizure of a vehicle imported for Senator Saraki with forged papers.

The reports had also claimed that the Customs boss was summoned by the lawmakers in connection to the controversy over Senator Dino Melaye’s educational qualifications.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court In Abuja had earlier dismissed the four charges of terrorism brought against Senator Ndume.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole set the lawmaker free on July 4 on the grounds that no prima facie case was established against the lawmaker.

Delivering judgment in a no case submission argued by Mr Ricky Tarfa on behalf of the Senator, Justice Kolawole held that the prosecution failed on all fronts to link the defendant with the alleged crime of hoarding information on terrorist activities and sponsoring the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The judge stroke out all the four charges and faulted the prosecution for failing to call eminent personalities to give evidence in respect of the charges against the defendant.

Court Frees Ndume From Terrorism Charges

The Federal High Court In Abuja has dismissed the four charges of terrorism brought against the immediate past Senate leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume.

Ndume, who represents Borno South in the Senate, was set free of the charges by Justice Gabriel Kolawole on the grounds that no prima facie case was established against the lawmaker.

Delivering judgment in a no case submission argued by Mr Ricky Tarfa on behalf of the Senator, Justice Kolawole held that the prosecution failed on all fronts to link the defendant with the alleged crime of hoarding information on terrorism activities and sponsoring the Boko Haram sect.

The judge, while striking out all the four charges, faulted the prosecution for failing to call eminent personalities to give evidence in respect of the charges against the defendant.

Specifically, the judge said that while the defendant admitted to having contact with Boko Haram members as a member of the presidential committee on security challenges in the North-East and volunteering information to the director of the Department of State Security in the National Assembly and former Vice President Namadi Sambo, the prosecution did not invite them to give evidence in the trial.

Justice Kolawole said the failure of the prosecution to invite those people to give evidence was fatal to the case as it hindered the prosecution from discharging the burden of proof as required by law.