Monday 23rd January, 2017
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Boko Haram: Court reserves ruling on Senator Ndume's trial

Boko Haram: Court reserves ruling on Senator Ndume's trial

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday  reserved ruling on an application by the Federal Government to demonstrate in court how mobile phone text messages were allegedly exchanged between Senate Leader, Aliyu Ndume and Boko Haram kingpin, Ali Konduga.
It would be recalled that Ndume, who is facing trial for allegedly sponsoring the violent Boko Haram sect, got a reprieve in 2013 as the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, overturned the admission in evidence of records of mobile telephone conversations between him and a former spokesman of the terror sect, Ali Konduga (aka Al Zawahiri).
At the resumption of Ndume's trial yesterday, the prosecution counsel, Mrs. Geraldine Okafor who led an expert witness in evidence, sought the court's permission to demonstrate with the help of a device called, Cellebrite Ufed Touch Ultimate (CUTU), how the flow of information between two handsets that were tendered before the court was arrived at.
However, fierce objection to the admissibility of the device, Ndume's counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), opposed the move by the prosecution.
Tarfa argued that the admissibility of the evidence was against the constitutional right of the accused person, saying that the Court of Appeal had dismissed the same evidence which the prosecution sought to re-tender before the court. 
"We submit that the evident of the expert witness is prejudicial to the accused person.
"What the witness is doing amounts to an investigation in court.
"We urge the court not to allow the demonstration which would amount to prejudice," Tarfa said.
In her submission, the prosecution counsel argued that the evidence they sought to present before the court was different from the one previous dismissed by the Appeal Court.
Okafor explained that what the Appeal Court rejected was the procedure of extracting the contents of the two mobile phones (which are evidence) before the court, not the content of the phones.
Consequently, Justice Kolawole adjourned the suit till October 9, 2015 for ruling and further trial.
He said: "in order not to be seen by the Appeal Court as acting in defiance to its previous ruling, it maybe necessary for me to take review of the proceedings of Appeal Court's ruling, wherein previous exhibits recently tendered were directed to be rejected."

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