The Senate Majority Leader Ali Ndume of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and representing Borno South said in an interview that he was happy to testify at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki and all those accused alongside Dasuki of diverting $2.1bn meant for prosecuting the war against Boko Haram.
Ndume said: “As far as we are concerned, these people shared blood money. Borno elders have made our position known on this through a statement they issued. We stand by our elders’ statement, that anybody who shared from the money meant for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram, is part of the sect, or they are sponsors of the sect. There are classes of Boko Haram – the army of Boko Haram, the supporters of Boko Haram and the sponsors of Boko Haram. Those people that shared the money for the purchase of arms are part of Boko Haram. We are supporting the government in the investigation and recovery of the funds. In fact, we are saying the government should take the case to Hague. We are very glad that somebody in the person of Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has taken the case further by going to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Kudos to him. If need be, I’m willing to testify at the ICC against those who collected the money meant for the Boko Haram war. This is because I am a victim too. We stand by Falana and we are going to support him to pursue the case at the ICC. We are not surprised that Falana has taken the case further because he is always by the side of the oppressed”.
Ndume’s point about “classes of Boko Haram” is quite instructive in the sense that it is not quite clear whether he belongs to any of those classes. As a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator in 2011, he was accused of having links with Boko Haram. A convicted Boko Haram member Ali Sanda Umar Konduga was said to have told State Security Service (SSS) agents that Ndume was paying him to send threatening messages to judges and politicians.
SSS spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said then about Konduga: “His arrest further confirms the service position that some of the Boko Haram extremists have political patronage and sponsorship,”
The SSS alleged that Ndume provided the terrorists with information to support their operations. Two of Ndume’s aides were also arrested on suspicion of being Boko Haram members. There were also reports that the senator bought 400 Volkswagen Golf cars for the Boko Haram sect members and disguised this as “community empowerment projects”. VW Golfs have allegedly been used in several bomb explosions in northeast Nigeria.
Ndume’s current stance in favour of ICC prosecution for those that didn’t buy the arms for fighting the insurgents is at variance with his previous position of not favouring a military approach to the problem. He argued that it would not be effective.
The government’s case against Ndume was dismissed by an Abuja High Court because of “lack of evidence” after the APC swept to power last year.
Ndume was first (s)elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). By December 2010 he had switched to the PDP. He was part of the “nPDP” politicians that merged with the APC in November 2013.
So as Ndume complains about those that shared “blood money”, considering his history of constantly changing sides, it should come as no surprise if it turns out that the turncoat senator’s hands are covered in blood from grabbing his share of the loot.