By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA — Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Tuesday, admitted into evidence, call logs and text messages allegedly exchanged between Senator Ali Ndume and the self confessed spokesman of the Boko Haram sect, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga.
It was the Federal Government that tendered the said call logs which were yesterday tagged as “Primary evidence” against Ndume who is currently representing Borno South in the Senate.
Ndume was specifically accused of furnishing the Boko Haram sect with classified information that aided their terror operations in the country.
At the resumed hearing on the matter, yesterday, the high court heard how the call logs and text messages obtained from two telephones belonging to Senator Ndume and Konduga were processed by a forensic examiner from the department of the SSS, Mr. Aliu Usman.
Despite spirited effort by counsel to the embattled lawmaker, Chief Rickey Tarfa, SAN, to persuade the court not to admit the documentary evidence against his client, Justice Kolawole overruled him.
Tarfa, had contended that the SSS operative who prepared the documentary evidence as a forensic examiner did not disclose his qualification to enable the court ascertain his capabilities at extracting such evidence.
He said the failure of the expert to back up his claim with requisite qualification as demanded by law was fatal to admissibility of the documentary evidence.
Beside, the counsel argued that the telephone conversations and the SMS messages documented in a bounded report was not certified as required by section 102 of the Evidence Act.
However, in moving the court to admit the document, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Thompson Olatingbe, argued that the witness prepared and signed the document as his own report of the forensic examination carried out on the telephones of Senator Ndume and Konduga.
In his ruling, Justice Kolawole agreed that the failure of the SSS operative to establish his qualification was fatal to the case of the prosecution, though he agreed that the document did not fall among the public documents that must be certified before it can be admitted in law.
The Judge also held that the witness never claimed that he generated the contents of the report from computer as claimed by the defence lawyer.
The court said that probate value to be attached to the report would be determined in the course of trial since the witness did not disclose his qualification.
Earlier, the witness had told the court how he was mandated by a probe panel to examine the conversations and text messages exchanged by Senator Ndume and Boko Haram spokesman in order to ascertain the allegation of the Boko Haram sect that the Senator was their financier
Further hearing on the matter continues Wednesday.