8 February 2013

Nigeria: Terrorism - Ndume Wants Proceedings Stayed

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, who is standing trial on terrorism-related charges before a Federal High Court in Abuja, has asked the court to stay proceedings in the matter pending an appeal he filed challenging the decision of the court to admit in evidence certain documents tendered by the prosecution at its last sitting.

The matter was slated for yesterday for continuation of trial but Ndume's counsel, A. O. Jolawo, told the court that his client had filed an appeal against the court's ruling of December 11 and 14, 2012 which admitted in evidence DVD's containing call data records as well as findings of investigations carried out by a Special Investigation Panel (SIP) of the State Security Service (SSS).

Prosecuting counsel, Thompson Olatigbe confirmed that they have been served with the notice of appeal but urged the court to proceed with cross examining its witness since the motion for stay is not ripe for hearing and that they are yet to be served with the motion for stay of proceedings.

Added that he feels rather hesitant to insist that cross examination of the prosecution witness should continue.

He directed prosecution to file his reply to the application within five days and that the defense should within three days upon service reply (if necessary) on points of law.

It would be recalled that a prosecution witness had told the court that there were 73 communications between a Nokia E7 which allegedly belongs to Ndume and the convicted spokesperson of the Boko Haram sect, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, who allegedly owns the Nokia 2700 that was tendered in evidence alongside the Nokia E7. The case has been adjourned till February 19.

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