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Ndume: CSOs tackle Court judge, says order spurious

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Following the detention order slammed on the former Senate leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume for his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina in Court, a coalition of civil society groups in Nigeria, have kicked against Monday’s order, describing it as spurious.

The Federal High Court judge, Okon Abang, on Monday ordered that the former Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre, pending when the suspect surfaces or have his Asokoro property worth N500 million sold and proceeds paid into the Federation Account.

Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina was the former Chairman of the defunct Pension management Task Force and was being tried over alledged N2 billion money laundering which Senator Ndume representing Borno South Senatorial district stood surety.

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Maina, having flouted his bail conditions, Ndume, who represents Maina, was subsequently asked to produce the fugitive or be remanded in prison custody.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Mohammed Saidu, said the judge, Abang had included as part of bail conditions, a serving senator standing as surety before Maina could be released.

Saidu wondered why the judge would order that Ndume be remanded when he willfully insisted that a serving senator be part of the sureties.

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He said Ndume as the senator representing Maina, had no choice, but to stand in for him since it was one of the key requirements included by Abang.

He called for the unconditional release of Ndume, while security agents go after Maina who has already been declared wanted.

Saidu said: “The order by the judge came to many Nigerians as a shock. Ndume is a ranking senator who did something noble by standing in as surety to his constituent who was critically ill in prison.

“But we are wondering why Ndume’s case is different. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe stood as surety to Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu whose group was proscribed, left the country and has not returned since then. Yet, Abaribe who stood as surety wasn’t sent to prison.

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“Why single out Ndume if this is not a calculated attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to kill it? We are calling for the immediate release of Ndume without further delay.

“The judge should rather tell security agencies to go after Maina and fish him out. What this has done is to scare Nigerians from standing as sureties going forward.”

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