by Akan Ido

Investigators yesterday told the federal court that Senator Ali Ndume, who was arrested late 2011 for allegedly having links with the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, contacted the sect’s spokesman 73 times in a month.

Security operatives say Ndume, who is from Borno State, was constantly in touch with an alleged spokesperson of the group, Mohammed Konduga.

Mr. Konduga was convicted and is currently serving a three-year jail term.

The senator was accused by the State Security Service (SSS) of sponsoring the Islamic sect but Ndume maintains his communication with the sect was necessitated by virtue of his membership of the Presidential Committee mandated to help restore peace to the troubled North East of the country.

An SSS forensic expert, Aliyu Usman, who testified against the senator said the timeline of communication between Senator Ndume and Konduga took place between October 3, 2011 and November 3, 2011, adding that they were in the form of text messages and voice calls.

Usman had reportedly tendered before the court a DVD purported to contain data extracted from careful analyses of two mobile phones said to be owned by the senator.

However, Counsel to Ndume, Ricky Tarfa, objected to the tendering of the DVDs as evidence on Wednesday arguing that they were secondary evidence and should have been accompanied by a statement.

He argued that the items were in violation of the Evidence Act.

“The essence of Section 102 of the Evidence Act is to guide against the tendering of fake computer generated materials,” he said.

But the prosecution lawyer, Thompson Olatigbe, said the items had already been admitted by the court and as such they became primary evidences.

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