Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume has challenged the jurisdiction of an Abuja Federal High Court to try him over terrorism-related charges.
In the motion filed through his counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), Ndume is asking the court to quash the charges against him. He said the proof of evidence does not disclose a prima facie case against him and that the charges as constituted are vague and imprecise.
He similarly said the charge as drafted and filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) was done in bad faith and without regard to the facts of the case.
"The charge was signed by the Attorney General of the Federation and by law, he is expected to be an unbiased umpire with no interest, who is empowered to look at the facts of a case and advise whether there is a prima facie case or not."
Meanwhile the court has suspended the trial till April 26 to allow parties in the suit file and exchange processes.
When the matter came up yesterday, Ndume's counsel, H. A. Nganjiwa, sought to apply for quashing of the charges, but prosecuting counsel, Olufumilayo Fatunde, said prosecution is yet to receive a copy of the motion and will need to verify.
Ndume was in December arraigned before Justice Gabriel Kolawole on four counts of concealing information on attacks being planned by the Boko Haram sect, offenses which attract up to 20 years imprisonment under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
He is alleged to have received information on or about October 4 from convicted Boko Haram spokesman Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (alias Al-Zawahiri) regarding planned attacks on judges of the Borno State election tribunal and the National Assembly, but failed to disclose the information to a law enforcement officer as soon as reasonably practicable.
Ndume is also accused of providing telephone numbers of certain public officers, including the Attorney General of the Federation Mohammed Bello Adoke, on or about October 4, to Konduga for the purpose of communicating terrorist messages to the said persons.
Ndume is also alleged to have been in possession of Konduga's mobile phone number but failed to disclose it to a law officer as soon as reasonably practicable, knowing that it will be of material assistance in arresting Konduga, contrary to Section 7(1) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, and punishable with 10 years in jail.
In an affidavit, however, he pleaded not guilty to all four count charges. He was granted bail on December 19 in the sum of N25 million with two sureties in like sum.